Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: ‘My little brother needs medicine’ – BBC News

By Hana Zeratsyon
BBC Tigrinya

Publishedduration13 hours agoRelated Topics

  • Tigray crisis

image copyrightReuters

With my 11-year-old brother suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, I am extremely worried about whether he will get his medication following the outbreak of a new conflict in Ethiopia's already war-scarred Tigray region.

He lives in the regional capital, Mekelle, with my parents and siblings and – just days before the conflict started – I had what has turned out to be my last video chat with them about his treatment.

As his medication is expensive and pharmacies in Mekelle often run out of stock, I agreed to send money to my family to pay for the drugs, while they were going to get the medication from the federal capital, Addis Ababa.

I did a bank transfer from Kenya's capital Nairobi – where I live – to Mekelle, but with the state-owned National Bank of Ethiopia now shutting all of its more than 600 branches in Tigray because of the conflict, my family cannot withdraw the money.

And even if they get the cash, they cannot get the medicines, as all passenger flights into Tigray have been halted, meaning that no-one can bring it from Addis Ababa. Road travel between the two cites, about 700km (435 miles) away from each other, has also stopped, leaving many Tigrayans stranded in the federal capital.