Mission “Melat” – Covid19 in Tigray



Also in Ethiopia since March 13, 2020, the restrictions due to COVID 19 have started to be applied.

On April 7 in Addis Ababa 52 people are infected but no one can predict what will happen.

The hope is that the virus will remain limited and will not expand, because what could happen in these areas you do not know but you can imagine.

The activity of “Save a life4life” in Quihà, never stops; our patients need, as usual, to be checked and submitted to periodic analysis.

The Mekelle government is taking security measures similar to those adopted in Italy, which is why you cannot go out and enter the city. In order to continue the clinical and control activities, we had to address to the authorities.

For one day, it was not possible to reach our clinic, because in the area of the airport (where our establishment is located) a checkpoint stopped us and prevented us from continuing.

With the intervention of our head nurse, who visited several offices from the police station to the ministries, she finally managed to get a valid “pass”, one for the people and one for our minibus.

Some of our cardiopathic patients live outside Mekelle and during this period it is forbidden for them to move  therefore they cannot reach our clinic for periodic check-ups. They often live in villages where roads are difficult to cross and in places not always identifiable.

And that’s why the mission “Melat” was born, from the name of a young girl who cannot come to our controls. The head nurse and the driver are ready to reach Adigudem, a village 40 km away from Mekellè, with medicines for Melat and the handheld INR measuring device, an important blood test to determine the maintenance therapies of a cardiopathic patient.  Without the periodic and rigorous control of this examination one can die in a short time.

The route to Adigudem is marked by checkpoints where we barely our pass, only after long checks, allows us to continue.

Once in the village, our head nurse finally meets Melat. She checks the INR and leaves her a supply of medicines.

Melat lives in a one-room house with no windows and no bathroom with his mother and sister.  They can’t afford any more. Melat after a stroke, she doesn’t speak and moves badly the right part of his body, so she can’t work.

Her mother works in the village where she produces traditional alcohol, actually slightly alcoholic drinks, one of the simple jobs known throughout Tigray. One of the governmental restrictions linked to COVID 19 is preventing the sale of these drinks at this time because it causes an assembly of people.

[ notice of ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages ]

The images in the photos tell more than any other word, so we can imagine what kind of difficulties will be encountered by this family, since here there are no economic facilitations for emergencies.

Nevertheless  Melat and his mother greet with smiles our nurse and the driver who have to reach another village and visit another patient …

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