by Christian Leuner

Ethiopia-Witten's Ahmedin Idris has been awarded by German Development Minister

On September 12th, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Svenja Schulze awarded to the German Co-Chairman Ahmedin Idris of the German development aid association, Etiopia-Witten for his outstanding personal commitment to development cooperation.

The ceremony took place at the ministry in Berlin in the presence of his wife Marina Idris. Ahmedin Idris was also honored on behalf of the members of the Etiopia-Witten Association.

Ahmedin Idris is honored by the German BMZ


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by Christian Leuner

Save Ayders Hospital in Mekelle

With this text in the news channel X (formerly Twitter), the Ayder Hospital in Mekelle addresses the world public, with a cry for help to save it.

"It's our somber duty to announce that Ayder Hospital, Tigray's largest & most advanced medical center, is near collapse from war's toll. We call on all orgs + individuals who care about the health of people to help us revive it & save lives. Stand w/us."

Organized by Health Professionals Network for Tigray:


Save Ayder Banner


Kibrom Gebreselassie Desta, MD
Associate Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Chief Executive Director
MU-CHS, Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital
Ayder Hospital was once a beacon of hope for the people of Tigray. It was a state-of-the-art facility that provided world-class care to patients from all over the region and beyond. But now, after two years of war, the hospital is in shambles.
The war brought a massive influx of patients to Ayder Hospital. Many of these patients were suffering from war-related injuries, and they required specialized care that the hospital was not equipped to provide due to the siege. The staff worked tirelessly to save lives, but they were often overwhelmed and understaffed.
In addition to the influx of patients, the war also caused a major disruption to the hospital's supply chain. Medical supplies and equipment were out of function, and the hospital was unable to get the resources it needed to function properly. Currently, the hospital's MRI (the only one in the region), CT, Mammography, CathLab, ESWL, digital X Ray, Dental Units, and most importantly, the Oxygen plant are out of function.
The staff of Ayder Hospital have worked tirelessly for two years without pay. They have shown incredible dedication and compassion, but they are now at their breaking point. They are exhausted, demoralized, and they are starting to leave the hospital.
If Ayder Hospital loses its staff, it will be a major blow to the health care system in Tigray. The hospital is the only one in the region that can provide specialized care, and its closure would mean that many patients would have no access to treatment.
The international community has been slow to respond to the crisis in Tigray. The United Nations has only provided a fraction of the aid that is needed, and the Ethiopian government has done little to help.
The people of Tigray are suffering. They are dying from preventable diseases, and they are being denied access to essential medical care. The international community must do more to help the people of Tigray, and they must do it now.
I am writing this essay with a heavy heart. I am heartbroken by the situation in Tigray, and I am deeply concerned about the future of Ayder Hospital. I urge the international community to take action and save this vital institution.
The people of Tigray deserve better. They deserve to have access to quality health care, and they deserve to have a hospital that they can be proud of. We must not let the people down.
The following are some of the specific ways that the international community can help Ayder Hospital:
• Provide medical supplies and equipment.
• Donate money to help the hospital pay its staff.
• Send skilled professionals to help rebuild the hospital's staff in areas of need.
• Press the Ethiopian government to allow more fund and aid to reach Tigray and rebuild the damaged infrastructure.
The future of Ayder Hospital hangs in the balance. If we do not act now, the hospital will be lost, and the people of Tigray will suffer. I urge the international community to take action and save this vital institution.
I hope this essay has helped to raise awareness of the situation in Tigray and the plight of Ayder Hospital. I urge you to share this essay with your friends and family, and to let them know that they can help by donating to the cause. Together, we can make a difference.

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by Christian Leuner

The Ethiopian senior cardiologist Assoc. Prof. from Ayder Hospital is visiting German Memmingen Cardiology Department

Senior physician Dr. Norbert Scheffold (left) and Ethiopian guest physician Dr. Abraha Hailu in the courtyard of the hospital. Photo: Häfele/Press Office Klinikum Memmingen

Abraha Hailu Cardiologist from Ethiopia at German Memmingen Hospitial

Dr. Abraha Hailu from Ethiopia, East Africa, stands in the cardiac catheterization laboratory of the Memmingen Clinic with a surgical cap and lead apron and assists his German colleagues. What looks like an everyday procedure on an ordinary morning is anything but normal for the Ethiopian guest doctor. After two years of civil war, everyday life in his African homeland is marked by destruction, hunger and suffering.

"We don't have medicines, protective clothing, inventory," says the 43-year-old cardiologist. He works at the Ayder Hospital in the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle, about an hour's flight from the capital Addis Ababa. "Our equipment is broken," he continues, enumerating: "No X-ray examination, no computed tomography, no magnetic resonance imaging." The cardiac catheterization laboratory, which was ceremoniously opened in 2015 at the Ayder Hospital and in which Dr. Norbert Scheffold from the Memmingen Clinic trained many Ethiopian doctors, is also no longer functional: "Such devices must be maintained regularly," explains senior physician Scheffold,a member of the German aid organization Etiopia-Witten e.V. (see info box). "The device software, batteries and also the hydraulics of operating tables - all of this is broken after two years of war.

War destroyed and medical equipment stolen, Although there has been a ceasefire between the hostile civil war troops in northern Ethiopia for several months, normality is far from being an option. "We have electricity, telephone, and internet again, but the supply chains have been destroyed and we can't get important medicines and materials," the doctor complains. In addition, according to the 43-year-old, all surrounding health facilities in the hospital. "Now sick people come to us at Ayder Hospital from far away, and we can't provide them with adequate care." The civil war in his homeland is considered one of the most brutal and deadly conflicts in the world. According to reports, it has caused half a million deaths so far. During the war, the embattled province of Tigray, where Dr. Abraha Hailu lives, was cut off from the outside world for a long time: No electricity, no mobile phone network, no fuel. Many died of starvation. In addition, mass rape was used as a weapon of war. Dr. Abraha Hailu tells of refugees, wounded and severely traumatized girls and women in the Ayder Hospital, of malnourished children. Some doctors and nurses had also collapsed from hunger. For two years, he did not receive a salary for his grueling and self-sacrificing work. In Memmingen, the father of two is now trying to refresh his basic knowledge of cardiology. "I'm very happy to be here. I enjoy the peace and quiet. Dr. Abraha Hailu hopes that this will eventually be possible again in his Ethiopian homeland. "Hope," he says. Hope gives him strength and drives him. Dr.Abraha Hailu im Memmingen

The Ethiopian guest physician Dr. Abraha Hailu (left) assists the cardiologist Christian Neumann during a cardiac catheterization at the Memmingen Hospital. Photo: Klinikum Memmingen

Etiopia-Witten e.V. Etiopia-Witten is a non-profit association founded by doctors with the aim of providing development aid in Ethiopia. The association has its main focus in the city of Witten. Numerous members and supporters come from all parts of Germany. The main focus of its activities is the city of Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia's northern province of Tigray, with the Ayder Hospital University Hospital.

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by Christian Leuner

Head of Ayder University Hospital in Mekelle thanks Etiopia-Witten NGO for finacial support

On the international news service Twitter, the Clinical Director of Ayder Hospital has thanked Etiopia-Witten for the generous donations. It has been possible to procure important materials for the work in laboratories, operating rooms and other departments in Addis Ababa with these funds. A small part of the salaries for the staff at Ayder Hospital was paid.


Arrival of medical goods in Ayder March 2023

In summary, including what we have donated for the house for the raped women, we were able to provide a total of €270,000 to Ayder Hospital for humanitarian help during the war in local currency.


Kibrom thanks Etiopia-Witten


Twitter greetings to Kibrom from EW

However, the situation in Tigray is still very tense and the traffic routes to and from Tigray continue to be severely disrupted in the countryside. The peace process is also still very fragile, but progress is being made to push Eritrean and Amharic troops out of Tigray.

The new president of the Tigrian Provisional Government is Getachev Rheda, well known to us from his visit to Witten 2015 and meetings in Mekelle. Getachev Rheda in Witten, standing at the very back). He is experienced in government administration, and we hope that he will succeed in restoring orderly conditions in the cooperation with the central government and in Tigray.


Kindeya Award in Witten Germany 2015

Memory of a better time. Visit of Prof. Kindeya and Getatchev Rheda (in the back) in Witten Germany to honor and thank them for their cooperation with Etiopia-Witten NGO in Mekelle 2015.


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