Provide medical care for Ethiopians

The Ethiopia Crisis

In early November 2020, conflict between regional and federal forces broke out in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. What has followed is a humanitarian crisis causing massive suffering across the country.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are more than 21 million people in need. Food, water, medical care, and other basic supplies are scarce. The scale of the crisis is outpacing the ability of humanitarian agencies to respond. People are in search of the basic resources needed to survive.

Learn More about the Tigray Conflict
A family sits under a makeshift tent and tree, Ethiopian refugees in transit. Photo by Joost Bastmeijer.
Photo by Joost Bastmeijer

The consequences of civil unrest in Ethiopia are dire all around. Families fleeing the conflict are arriving as refugees in the neighboring country of Sudan63,100 since November. Responding quickly in the wake of these events is critical to the support and care of Ethiopians, as many have acute medical needs. That’s why Medical Teams is mounting its response to the current crisis in Ethiopia.

A mother and daughter walk along a dirt path, Ethiopian refugees in Sudan, photo by Joost Bastmeijer
Photo by Joost Bastmeijer

What We’re Doing

Medical Teams International is mobilizing to care for displaced Ethiopians in the Tigray region. One of the first actions we took was shipping critical medical supplies into Tigray – supplies like syringes, gowns and surgical packs. After that, we sent an assessment team to Ethiopia to identify specific needs in health and nutrition, and now the team is working to establish a longer-term response, focused on health systems strengthening in the region. For example:

  • We are helping two primary healthcare facilities to restart services through providing repairs, supplies, equipment, and training. (We already rehabilitated one facility that is now functioning mostly on its own.)
  • We are providing direct healthcare with a mobile health and nutrition team at two facilities, treating conditions like diabetes, hypertension, malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrhea. Additionally, we facilitate childhood vaccinations, support maternal health, perform laboratory services, and distribute prescribed medicines.
  • We have health extension workers at three primary care facilities who educate and listen to families about important health conditions. They vaccinate children, distribute basic medical treatments, and screen for malnutrition.
  • We reestablished the use of an ambulance that serves two of our supported facilities.

Ongoing Needs in Ethiopia

Thanks to our partners and donors, we are helping provide the means for essential medical care in Ethiopia; however, humanitarian access to Ethiopia is challenging due to insecurity in the region, which means there continues to be much need.

For instance, there is currently a lack of healthcare accessible. Health facilities are not fully operational, and many people are in need of healthcare. Our mobile health and nutrition team sees over 200 patients per day at some locations. Additionally, there is a growing concern that cholera outbreaks will occur during the rainy season, adding more stress to the overwhelmed health systems.

Lastly, critical food shortages mean many are malnourished and need therapeutic feeding interventions. Help us continue to care and prepare for these issues many Ethiopians are facing by donating today.

Help care for Ethiopians