background_fid (1).jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

No food, medicine or electricity: The truth about life in Ethiopia's Tigray region

A man puts wheat into a container during a food distribution organized by the Amhara government near the village of Baker, 50 kms South East of Humera, in the northern Tigray Region on July 11, 2021.  (EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)
A man puts wheat into a container during a food distribution organized by the Amhara government near the village of Baker, 50 kms South East of Humera, in the northern Tigray Region on July 11, 2021. (EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr. Reiye Mengesha is a doctor in what was a modern, well-equipped hospital Ethopia’s northern Tigray state.

“There are so many patients who used to come to our hospital. For instance, patients with cancer,” he says.

Almost two years ago, everything changed. Most of his patients are now dying.

“We have been using for the past one year medications which were expired. But currently we don’t even have those … those drugs,” he adds. “So our cancer patients don’t have any medications.”


For 500 days, Ethiopia’s government has kept five million people in the state of Tigray in a virtual prison.

The WHO calls the Tigray region one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

No new medicines, electricity, food fuel. No one gets in, no one gets out.

Today, On Point: The tragedy in Tigray.

Guests

Etana Dinka, associate professor at James Madison University. (@ittaanaa_haftee)

Hayelom Mekonen, former executive director of the Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia. (@Noliasadi)

Ephraim Isaac, scholar on Ethiopian culture and history. Chair of the board of the Ethiopian Peace and Development Center. Director of the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, New Jersey. (@eisaac5)

Also Featured

Dr. Reiye Mengesha, surgeon at the Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Related Reading

African Arguments: “Ethiopia: The wider battle of which the Tigray war is just a part” — “Nearly five months since the war in Tigray began, reports continue to trickle out of mass atrocities and attempts at ethnic cleansing. Refugees have told harrowing stories of brutal massacres.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.