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Tigray Hospitals Reject 240 Patients and New Mexico, Arizona, and Nebraska Wildfires

April 21-27, 2022 | Issue 5 - Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) Team

Alyssa Schmidt, Megan Bilney, EMH2 Team

Manja Vitasovic, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff

Tigray, Ethiopia[1]

Date: April 22, 2022

Location: Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia

Parties involved: Ayder Referral Hospital; Tigray medical workers; Tigray healthcare system; Tigray residents; United Nations World Food Programme (WFP); armed groups

The event: Tigray hospitals had to reject 240 patients due to the depletion of food and medical supplies. In case of an emergency, patients were admitted to the hospital only if they could provide their own food. A pediatric hospital exhausted 90% of its medicine supply. The WFP has been sending food, but the assistance is insufficient for the whole population.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The depletion of food will likely cause malnutrition, likely increasing the number of sick people. The sick will unlikely be able to pay for medical care, likely due to poverty, likely caused by the conflict and drought in the country. Societal poverty will likely cause stress and pressure on medical workers to treat patients without proper resources, likely causing mistakes, mistreatment of patients, and increasing death rates.

  • The depletion of food and medical supplies will likely increase armed groups’ attacks on aid convoys and workers for the supplies, likely decreasing the chances of providing aid to marginalized groups. Competing armed groups in Tigray will likely attempt to steal the resources to gain power, provide bribes, and improve community support. Attacks will likely increase inter-group conflict and deaths in the conflict areas.

Date: April 24, 2022

Location: New Mexico, Arizona, and Nebraska, USA

Parties involved: US government; New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham; New Mexico residents; Arizona residents; Nebraska residents; children; the elderly; local firefighters; Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The event: New Mexico, Arizona, and Nebraska wildfires destroyed at least 200 homes and caused mass evacuations. The fires killed one and injured 11 firefighters. The Governor of New Mexico secured additional emergency services by signing an emergency declaration with the federal government.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The increased air pollution from the fires will likely increase asthma and other lung illnesses. Children and the elderly will very likely develop lung and heart disease from wildfires’ soot as they are almost certainly the most vulnerable populations. An increase in patients needing medical oxygen will likely cause oxygen shortages, likely causing long-term respiratory illnesses due to inadequate medical care.

  • The wildfires will very likely injure and kill wild animals and cause plant life devastation. The reduced biodiversity will likely increase environmental degradation. The devastation will likely include increased water runoff, likely due to the lack of plants, escalation of endangered species, and water pollution, likely from the fire extinguishing chemicals.

  • NEMA will likely be overwhelmed as the fires continue to spread, likely decreasing the mitigation effectiveness. Personnel, water, and fire retardants will likely deplete until FEMA is able to provide additional services to the area, likely allowing the fires to persist. Dry and windy conditions will likely continue into the summer, likely increasing the risk of future wildfires and likely requiring events triage and additional supplies to ensure emergency services use finite resources effectively and efficiently.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[2] Main hospital in Ethiopia's Tigray's region runs out of food, Reuters, April 2022,

[3] Destructive wildfires in New Mexico trigger emergency declaration, NPR, April 2022,



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