Eritrea’s choosing no COVID19 vaccination endangers Ethiopia and Africa

Eritrea propaganda complains that great achievements are vilified by the West. In reality they have empty buildings without proper faculty or equipment except for that recently stolen from the Tigray invasion.

While the 55 states of the  African Union struggle to contain COVID19 Eritrea is the only one who has chosen not to even start COVID19 vaccination said John Nkengasong ,the head of the African Centres for Disease Control. One wonders if the mentoring of Eritrean leader, Isaias Afwerki, to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has influenced Ethiopia’s decision to drastically scale down its own COVID19 vaccination plan with less than  4% of the population even receiving one dose. The exposure of a Eritrea taking no real steps to control COVID19 endangers neighboring Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia and the rest of Africa.

Sixty six percent of Eritrea’s 5 million population  live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day. Eritrea’s reporting of  the health care system leaves much to be desired. In spite of making claims of an advanced and comprehensive health care system for the most part health care in Eritrea exists only in a very sparse and rudimentary level.  Political elites go to Dubai while the poor and deprived suffer despite claims of “remarkable achievements“.  While reporting $24 per capita per year which would be equal to Ethiopia there is a definite disparity between Ethiopian and Eritrean healthcare. I know this personally having cared for hundreds of Eritrean refugees and visitors in Mekelle from the camps and when the border was open. I also saw elites in private clinics who would fly into Addis from Dubai. Additionally we had a few doctors training with us who were refugees from Eritrea. Eritrea spends more on propaganda showing some facilities in Asmara rather then giving the care. A young Eritrean doctor has given testimony on the fallacy of Eritrean claims.

While giving the excuse they are a young country they have poor training for physicians and nurses. No training beyond medical school for specialization. Essentially no intensive care and limited newborn facilities. There is a shortage of essential medicines such as insulin, antibiotics, and blood pressure control pharmaceuticals. Ironically, we were negotiating with them to train surgeons before the war broke out.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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