Call for due attention to the war affected areas in Oromia

Oromia Physicians Association (OPA) is not-for-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental professional association established and licensed to work in improving healthcare system and betterment of public health in Oromia Regional State. To this end, our association has been doing more than its fair share respective to its big cause spanning a variety healthcare related situations. As one of the priorities OPA has always been responding to conflict and draught affected areas, and providing emergency response services among other humanitary crises in collaboration with various stakeholders.

As much as OPA appreciates the efforts being made in supporting the war affected areas in the northern part of the country, we have been reaching out to our national and international affiliates to launch similar efforts in mitigating the crises in Oromia.

However, our request for collaboration to a number of stakeholders did not get positive response so far. Yet, the currently ongoing war in different parts of Oromia, particularly, Wallaga and Shawa zones, is spiraling into greater depth and complexity day by day without getting any attention. The direnesses of basic needs and healthcare services is being embittered by access gaps and security constraints probably in its worst forms.  Number of IDPs are considerably increasing as more and more people flee their home and end up in crowds of deplorable living and unprotected shelters.

Despite the commendable involvements in war affected areas of other parts of the country, the international health response in conflict-affected areas of Oromia region is deemed to be below what the unabated crises deserves.

It is crystal clear that people are being affected by communicable diseases, physical injuries, mental health problems and malnutrition which require organized and sustained care; and emergency medical responses in this dynamic of disasters.

As we receive reports and call for help from our members serving in the areas with what they can, shortages of emergency medications, medical commodities, and basic medical equipment, a lack of continuous supply, shortages of healthcare providers (specialized healthcare professionals in particular) are among pressing problems.

Healthcare workers are also being threatened, detained, harassed, intimidated, and sometimes attacked by the warring parties, that many workers leave the conflict areas in search of safer workplaces.

The security and instability in these areas are hindering health services access that home deliveries have notably increased along with tragic maternal health incidents.

As we expect worsening of the problems escalating in the region, we would like to press on the importance collaborative efforts of both National and International Community as such support is crucial in alleviating the undermined healthcare and humanitarian crises in conflict-affected areas of Oromia region.

Hence, we cordially call up on governmental/non-governmental bodies, humanitarian and international health actors to give due attention to the contemporary problems and improve health access in the community.

Best Regards,

Oromia Physicians Association

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