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Tigray’s hospitals lack necessities as relief supplies are blocked, say doctors

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o34 (Published 07 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o34
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Ethiopia’s civil war, now in its fourteenth month, has left hospitals in the northern region of Tigray denuded of basic medicines and even bandages, and brought residents to the brink of starvation, according to reports from aid agencies and staff at the province’s biggest hospital, who accuse the government of deliberately obstructing relief supplies.

In documents sent to aid agencies and the news agency Reuters,1 doctors from Ayder Referral Hospital in Tigray’s capital Mekelle shared photos and records from 117 patient deaths that they said would have been prevented under normal conditions. They included a girl who died from an airstrike as staff, lacking gauze bandages, sought to staunch her bleeding with their bare hands. A baby who died from malnutrition, pneumonia, and kidney disease was one of 35 patients lost since the war began in the dialysis unit, which lacks intravenous fluids. The 500 bed …

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