May 26, 2024

Healthcare crisis mounts Oromia due to massive displacement

violence in the Oromia region of Ethiopia has taken a toll on critical infrastructure

Violence in the Oromia region of Ethiopia has taken a toll on critical infrastructure

Idi Amara in Ethiopia

The prevalent brutality in the Oromia area in Ethiopia has negatively impacted vital facilities and underlying systems. The health infrastructure and water supply systems have been severely impacted. Almost all 42 health posts that exist in Begi, a district with a population of 100,000, have been either vandalized or robbed. Due to the non-operational status of healthcare facilities, individuals suffering from critical medical conditions are unable to receive immediate medical attention.

The Guduru Primary Hospital, which caters to numerous districts, had its walls peppered with bullet holes, and the water tank sustained damage. Various medical items including beds, equipment, surgical sets, medicines, and ambulances were plundered. Simultaneously, there has been a significant surge in the patient count due to numerous individuals seeking refuge in this region, resulting in the healthcare staff’s inability to efficiently administer medical care to the community.

There is a limited supply of drugs for emergency situations. There are no sets available for operating rooms. We are lacking in the provision of sleeping accommodations. Currently, the water reserves have been negatively impacted, resulting in a scarcity of available water. According to Dr. X, the drugs and materials were taken as the community pharmacy was destroyed. The medical director of the hospital is named Alemayehu Kiri.

The present violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia region is severely impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals. Numerous individuals are in need of humanitarian aid, and the situation may worsen due to ongoing conflict, which obstructs aid delivery to several regions. The requirements are of utmost importance specifically in certain regions, including Guji, Wellegas, and Borena.

Due to the deafening sound of gunfire, we had no choice but to escape in order to preserve our well-being. My children faced great difficulty and experienced a nightmarish situation. Since we arrived in Balo, we have not received any support or aid despite losing all of our possessions. Mulu Takele, a mother of seven who has been displaced, stated that no one has approached her to inquire about their condition.

The ICRC and ERCS encounter significant obstacles in attending to massive demands, even with their expansion of operations into the western Oromia region and Guji. The ICRC and ERCS in Oromia are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for protection and aid to the most impacted people in areas that are challenging to reach, such as Bubul, Begi and Kondole, Balo, Bareda and Kombolsha, where there is a lack of presence from other aid organizations. According to Julian Jaccard, the ICRC head of the sub-delegation in Nekemte, we had to face tough decisions and focus on areas with minimal involvement from other humanitarian organizations. The individuals residing in these regions have gone through prolonged and severe hardship.

Starting in January 2023, the International Committee of the Red Cross has been involved in activities within the region of Oromia.

Provided support to 62,800 individuals by offering them assistance with food, household necessities, accommodation, and financial aid.

Consistently provided medical supplies and equipment, including medications, medical consumables, hygiene products, and furniture, to 12 health facilities. Additionally, healthcare staff were given training on the clinical management of rape to facilitate the continuation or reinitiation of essential life-saving medical services.

The Red Cross aided in reconnecting 32,500 individuals with their families by providing means of communication such as Red Cross messages or phone calls, with some family members expressing that it was the ultimate source of relief.

187,000 individuals, including those in detention facilities, have been granted easier access to clean and safe drinking and washing water. This initiative not only supports the health and well-being of the people but also ensures the safety of health workers and the patients they care for.