The Pediatric hemato-oncology unit at Ayder comprehensive specialized hospital (ACSH), Mekelle Tigray, has been the first unit of the hospital to face the challenges and negative consequences of the war and siege in Tigray. Before this current situation patients were more or less taken care of well, despite many challenges. But currently chemotherapies and other rescue drugs, fluids, special gadgets and nutritional supplies are no longer available.
Most pediatric malignancies have a better prognosis and outcome; sadly that is not the case in our setup.
According to a retrospective cross sectional study done from August 2021 to July 2022 (a report done every 3 month) in the pediatric and child health care department of the hospital: total admission to the pediatric hemato-oncology unit has dropped by 40.6 %. From august 2021 to October 2021, 77.9% of the admitted patients were discharged with improvement (most reappointed for follow-up) which has dropped significantly to 48.5%. The number of patients, feeling hopeless and being left with no option, who disappeared from care, has increased by 40.7 %.
The figures given above imply the devastating effect of the ongoing war and siege. It is a heart breaking scene to look at innocent kids laying on their beds and their tormented caregivers.
As the war continues into its third year the hospital has run out chemicals and reagents even for the basic and routine investigations. X-ray and other imaging machineries are put aside because of lack of maintenance and spare parts.
In conclusion; the scenes at ACSH are the epitome of the humanitarian catastrophe happening in every areas of Tigray. What the world hears is a sip from an ocean, unseen and untold tragedies are unfolding in Tigray.
We hereby plea the world to consider our helpless request, reach out and provide unfettered humanitarian and medical access.