There is no greater betrayal of professional duty then the case of Lia Tadesse’s treachery to Tigray. Throughout 2021 Lia Tadessa, Minister of Health for Ethiopia, falsely promised in press announcements that medical supplies and medical facilities would be provided to Tigray while off-camera giving the message to Tigray medical leaders that she would do nothing. In March of 2021 she visited Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, when it was already known that the vast majority of health care facilities where out of supplies, nonfunctional, or even destroyed. I have had personal discussions with most of the local Tigray health attendees at the meeting who described how armed security forces were there to carefully monitor topics and threatened immediate arrest of any words critical of Ethiopian policy or the situation at hand. Even many of the Abiy Ahmed Tigray Interim Administrators complained of her inaction.
Even though she had trained at Mekelle University’s Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital she avoided visiting this tertiary facility. Instead she focused on the small city hospital in Mekelle. In a bizarre statement, she claimed that Tigray had been behind in health care and she would make sure rapid rehabilitation and improvement would be done. In a bold outrageous lie she stated that “seventy percent of health care facilities were fully functioning” in that March 2021 visit. In continuance of a cruel joke the statement “The Ministry of Health would like to take this opportunity to thanks Partners, various sections of the community locally and abroad for supporting the government’s efforts to ensure all people have access to essential health services, and calls for strengthened support and coordination between all sectors.”.
Meanwhile we know that Ethiopian Defense Force commanders had ordered to kill Doctors Without Borders doctors as well as in coordination with Eritrean forces gave carte blanche to ransack, loot, and destroy medical facilities in Tigray.
In February 2022 she hypocritically celebrated the Government of Ethiopia being committed to the African Union Year of Nutrition and Food Security 2022 while condoning the starvation killing innocent women and children at a staggering 1000 lives per day.
She coordinated international fund drives to collect medical supplies for Ethiopia which specifically excluded Tigray and parts of Oromo. Her time of service has seen a reduction of spending per capita for health care from a high of $23 per capita to estimates as low as $10 for Ethiopia reversing a decade of progress. She has traded being a physician to being an expert propagandist. As a Christian I must pray she will one day repent for being an active participant in Tigray genocide.