Eritrea: Health Centres

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 4 July (HL16637), whether they can now provide an assessment of the impact of the government of Eritrea's enforced closure of Church-run health centres; whether staff in Eritrea have been able to visit and gather evidence of the impact of such closures on the local community; what assessment they have made of the reported deaths resulting from the closure of those facilities; and when they intend to raise this matter with (1) the government of Eritrea, and (2) the Eritrean Ambassador to the UK.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

​We understand that the majority of the Catholic Church managed health centres recently closed by the Eritrean Government have reopened under Ministry of Health management. Due to restrictions on travel, and with no independent media in Eritrea, it is difficult for UK Embassy staff to verify these reports themselves or the consequences of the original closures. The Eritrean Government has stated that the closures are part of a long-term plan to bring all healthcare provisions under the Government. We have raised with the Eritrean Ambassador in London and our Ambassador in Asmara has requested a meeting with the Eritrean Foreign Minister.

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