A doctor who knows no borders

Dr Daryelowm worked as a specialist for nearly four years at a hospital in western Tigray before he was forced to flee like so many other Ethiopian refugees.

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© UNHCR / Will Swanson


Dr Daryelowm was having a regular workday when his life was turned upside down.  

“It was a busy day and then I heard the blasts like ‘boom, boom, boom!’ We heard there were civilians who had been wounded by the bombings,” he recalls. 

When the shelling became too much, he was forced to join the hundreds of people fleeing town. 

“People were leaving without anything, just rushing away to save their own lives.” 

They travelled in tractors, crossing the border into Sudan.  

Dr Daryelowm arrived at ‘Village 8,’ a Sudanese settlement near the border, where he went to work immediately. He pulled together a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even a veterinarian, to help other Ethiopian refugees from Tigray who were getting sick from the poor conditions there. 

Ethiopian refugees

Ethiopian refugee doctor, Daryelowm Guesh (centre-rear), 40, from Humera, treats Lemlu Hailu, 34, and her one-year-old son, Kaleab Kalayu, from Maikadra, at a makeshift clinic in Village 8 reception centre in Sudan. Photo: © UNHCR / Will Swanson

He explains that hundreds of people are sick, every day, mainly from malaria, pneumonia and typhoid. The work is a lot and with overstretched resources, it is easy to get demotivated. But he isn’t ready to give up. 

“We started off working out of a house, using scraps of paper as prescriptions for the patients,” he says. The Sudanese government later came in and gave them supplies. 

When remembering his work in Tigray, Dr Daryelowm recalls, “I had a pretty nice job. It was peaceful and I was in the right place.He worked as a specialist for nearly four years at a hospital in western Tigray before he was forced to flee. 


Helping Ethiopian refugees like Dr Daryelowm who’ve had to flee conflict in Tigray region is easier than you think. To donate to help people like Dr Daryelowm, please visit this page.   

For the latest facts and figures on displaced families from Ethiopia, visit the UNHCR data portal. 

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