Ahmedin Idris, physician, initiator and co-chairman of the German Development Aid Association for Ethiopia, has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for special services in the field of development aid. The Order of Merit is the highest award given by the Federal Republic for services to the common good.

The award was presented on Oct. 10, 2019, and could not be handed over until Oct. 29, 2021, in a ceremony at the district office in Schwelm because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This ceremony was attended by the family and members of the association Etiopia-Witten.
It was followed by a great festivity for the members, friends and supporters of Etiopia-Witten assoc. family and family friends of Ahmedin. Many Ethiopian and Eritrean friends were among these.

Ahmedin Idris from Etiopia-Witten with German cross of merit


This is an emergency call from the abdominal surgeon Dr Reiye, one of the Clinical Directors of Ayder University Hospital Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia on August 13th, 2021, by satellite communication

Hello, I will ll try to update our current situation. The first will be the Ayder scenario.

A. Hospital-

  1. 1.there is severe shortage of medications and medical consumables as we are running out of our stock which was already far less from adequate.
  2. CT & MRI are still not functional, and one can imagine how hard it is to treat without them in a tertiary hospital.
  3. dialysis service & 8 patients (2 acute renal failure, 6 chronic) (2acute) died only  in the past 1 month.
  4. Too many patients for the hospital to treat, and patients are lying on the floor and in the corridors.
  5. Most of the medical interns and residents went back home, so we have severe shortage of medical human resources to cover the increased demand

B. Staffs

No salary for the past 3 months and the banks are still closed, so you can imagine the frustrations.

There is no light, no water and related problems ( almost everything is related with electric power, especially cooking and water supply)


I'll come back with the overall regional status

Here you can see what is lost in Ayder Hospital (only full equipped hospital for 6 all Tigray) in pictures:

Ayder MRI in 2019

The up-to-date MRI machine (to repair at least €50,000 for new Helium is required)

Ayder CT Machine from 2018

The fully functional CT - Machine (to diagnose brain bleeding and more)


Ayder Dialysis Unit in 2017

The dialysis Unit (patients with severe kidney disease die within days without it)




The doctor Dr. Fasika Amdeselassie, current head of the highest health authority (Tigray Health Bureau) of the war-suffering province of Tigray / Ethiopia, asked the Etiopia-Witten e. V. to hand over his letter of request to the relevant authorities of the German Federal Government (Federal Chancellor, the Foreign Ministers, Health and Development Aid). This letter contains an urgent request for the donation of urgently needed emergency medication and basic medical equipment for the war-ravaged hospitals in Tigray Province, which are included in an attached list.

We have forwarded this letter to these offices with a commentary covering letter, including a revised list of medicines and materials that contain the information necessary for procurement on the German market.

Here is an excerpt:

The only major hospital in the entire region is the Ayder Referral University Hospital in Mekelle, which we look after. This is structurally largely intact, and the equipment is largely still available. The staffing is currently still sufficient. This hospital is not only the central point of contact for the large number of war casualties, but is also the only one in the region available for the care of all other seriously ill people. In addition to the 400,000 inhabitants of the city, there is now a huge number of refugees from far and wide. There is also an extreme shortage of all medicines in the entire province, which has not yet been considered by the local aid organizations.

As the central point of contact for drug shipments for Tigray, Ayder Hospital can organize the distribution of drugs and medical materials to the remote hospitals together with the Tigray Health Bureau.

For the transport of the Dr. Fasika Amdeselassie you have requested medication, there is a formal written commitment from the Ministry of Health of the Ethiopian government to the Etiopia-Witten association that the cost of the flight with Ethiopia Airlines from Frankfurt to Mekelle will be covered in full.



Letter from Tigray Health Bureau to German Government #1


Letter from Tigray Health Bureau to German Government #2Letter from Tigray Health Bureau to German Government #3



Dr. Melaku Abriah

Dr. Melaku Abriha MD

A few days ago, the only fully qualified Ethiopian gynecologist in the city of Mekelle and medical director of Hamlin’s Mekelle Fistula Hospital, Dr. Melaku Abriha and his wife were attacked and injured in his home by Eritrean soldiers

He is currently the only gynecologist in town who can operate on the serious injuries of Tigray women and girls who have been raped in large numbers by soldiers.

According to information from his family, the timely arrival of neighbors saved his life. It is reported that his injuries had to be treated surgically. The attacking soldiers are said to have asked him to leave the city of Mekelle. The big city with about 400,000 inhabitants and an additional 300,000 refugees would then be without gynecological care. As far as we know, Dr. Melaku refused to do so.

Hemlins's Fistula Hospital Mekelle

The operating room at Hamlin's Fistula Hospital Mekelle 2018
© Dr. Christian Leuner

There is great concern that this attack by members of the Eritrean army who are in Mekelle could be a systematic action against the doctors there to force them out of the city and the region.

Since November 2020, the people in the Ethiopian northern province of Tigray have been suffering from extreme hardship due to armed conflicts in the form of displacement, death, rape and starvation.

The development aid association Etiopia-Witten e. V. is now, as it has been for more than 10 years, in close contact with the doctors in Mekelle and is currently helping there with their donations in the supply of medicines and medical aids.

To stop attacks on doctors in Mekelle and all over Tigray as well as the attempt to push them away, we urge the German government and the public to stand up for their protection.


German Etiopia-Witten Association has just got the information that emergency medical materials and drugs for Ayder Hospital in Mekelle had been successfully purchased in Addis Abeba and transported to Mekelle from the funded money that had been given by Etiopia-Witten. The ongoing war in Tigray is still giving extreme shortage of medical support for the suffering population because of the looting and destroying of the majority of the hospitals and health centers.


With its donation of 16,000 euros, Etiopia-Witten has enabled the doctors at Ayder Hospital in Mekelle to obtain medical materials for the doctors to treat the suffering Tigray population. Medicines and medical equipment are bought in Addis Ababa and, thanks to the Red Cross, are brought to Ayder Hospital and other hospitals in Mekelle

Donations urgently needed, every donation counts!


Just received reports from physicians from Mekelle hospitals confirmed information from the International Red Cross that the healthcare facilities in war hit Tigray are severely damaged and a nearly total lack of medical drugs including life-sustaining medications like Insulin for diabetics and others.

Several thousand of refugees from the nearby countryside have arrived in Mekelle including a considerable number (about 50 to 80) of raped women in bad health conditions including severe injuries and psychic traumatization. They are in Ayder Hospital and need urgently special medical and psychiatric treatment, but financing medical resources and even supply of food in the hospital is not secured.

Because of the more than 10 years lasting close cooperation with the dedicated physicians of Ayder Hospital, Etiopia-Witten is giving direct emergency financial funding to Ayder Hospital to give focused medical help to those in the greatest need.

Donations urgently needed, every donation counts!