Director’s Update on Violence in Northern Ethiopia

The latest reports from Northern Ethiopia are extremely concerning – over the past few weeks, tensions in the region of Tigray have escalated and there have been reports of violent clashes between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Throughout the crisis, we’ve been able to maintain our regular communications with the Director at Hospice Ethiopia, Ephrem Abathun.

Tigrary, Ethiopia. (c) OpenStreetMap

Hospice Ethiopia does not operate any care programmes in the northern Tigray region, and Ephrem reports that local work by the hospice in Addis Ababa is not directly impacted by the fighting in the north.

The situation is serious, but the government is striving to handle the operation with as much care as possible to avoid damage and effects to the Tigray people.

Ephrem Abathun, Executive Director of Hospice Ethiopia

With phone and internet restrictions in Tigray it is difficult to get updates directly from the affected areas, however, our partner, Ethiopiaid, describes how casualties are being treated in the Afar region, to the east of Tigray. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that medical supplies are running out in hospitals in Mekelle.

Hospice Ethiopia continues to run its programmes in Addis Ababa, as far as ongoing virus restrictions allow, and we hope that hostilities will end quickly.

All of the people of Ethiopia are in our thoughts,


Sue Mumford
Chair, Hospice Ethiopia UK

Quartely reports from hospice Ethiopia

The trustees of Hospice Ethiopia UK receive quarterly reports from the staff of Hospice Ethiopia. They report on a range of activities undertaken by the Hospice which helps us monitor the way the funds we send them are spent as well as helping us to understand the challenges they face.

The recent report records that they are supporting 85 patients through their home-base care programme. This is slightly fewer than in the previous quarter as fewer referrals have been received. The Director thinks this is probably due to fewer patients presenting at hospital as they are worried about leaving their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Day Care service run at the Hospice has had to be temporarily suspended due to the restrictions imposed by the government due to the pandemic. However, 25 patients are supported by the Comfort Fund; this is a monthly grant given to the poorest patients to enable them to buy food and other essential supplies. Our Coin jars support this fund; if you would like to have one, please contact Sue (01263 768699) or set up your own jar for collecting lose change for this vital fund.

The staff of Hospice Ethiopia in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health have provided training for a range of health care workers, on palliative care for people dying from corona virus. This included support for front line workers in supporting both patients and their families with their distress, medical needs and end of life care.

Earlier this year Hospice Ethiopia expanded its services by establishing a partnership with the Tibebe Ghion Hospital in Bahir Dar. This has proved to be a cost-effective model and plans are underway to replicate this at Hawassa and other major cities in Ethiopia.

Recent fundraising successes

During the build-up to Christmas we’ve had several very successful fundraising events including a talk by Sue & Jamie at Ranworth Church, bag packing at Tesco’s in Aylsham, St Michael’s Christmas Tree festival and Carols in Aldborough Community Centre. These events have raised just under £900 in total. Very many thanks to all those who supported Hospice Ethiopia at these events.


For the second year running Hospice Ethiopia UK was accepted to take part in The Big Give Christmas challenge. We are delighted that we received 42 donations, which with the matching funds and gift aid totalled the fantastic sum of £10,425. This will pay the nurses’ salaries at Hospice Ethiopia for 6 months. We could not have raised such a phenomenal amount without our supporters’ generosity; we are truly grateful.


Following a talk to Holt Rotary club in October, we are very grateful to Maureen Ford for talking to a Rep from Welland who has supplied over 500 colostomy bags for the patients of Hospice Ethiopia who have a stoma. Colostomy bags are not available at all in Ethiopia, so this donation will really transform the lives of patients. Sue will deliver some of these to hospice Ethiopia when she visits in February.

Below is the lovely and festive HE Christmas tree at St Michael’s Church in December:

xmas tree