News: WHO expresses concern, calls for uninterrupted access and protection of health care in Amhara region

Addis Abeba – The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concerns over the ongoing violence in the restive Amhara region where months-long hostilities between government forces and the non-state Fano militia has escalated over the past few weeks leading to the declaration of state of emergency.

On Sunday, Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom (PhD) said “humanitarian access is difficult due to blockage of roads; communication is difficult due to internet suspension,” stating that “conflicts have an immediate impact on people’s health and can have grave, long-lasting consequences on health systems”. 

“We call for uninterrupted access and protection of health care in Amhara, so [that] WHO and partners can continue our work. Above all, we call for peace,” he added.

According to the UN, the Amhara region continues to grapple with already dire humanitarian and health situations. An ongoing Cholera outbreak has affected 18 woredas across the region, with a total of 2,343 reported cases, 40 unverified deaths as of 27 July 2023, since it was first reported on 23 July. 

Humanitarian responses to IDPs estimated at more than 595,000 in the region also remain acutely insufficient, and the ongoing influx to the region of refugees, asylum seekers and Ethiopian returnees due to the crisis in Sudan makes the situation worse. AS

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