Médecins Sans Frontières closes its medical project in Bossaso, Puntland State of Somalia

07.05.2008 | Mudug, South Central Somalia

Nairobi– Due to the kidnapping of two of its humanitarian workers last December, on 15 April the international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) decided to close all its remaining medical and nutritional operations for the internally displaced people (IDP) living on the outskirts of Bossaso.

Immediately after the end of the kidnapping, MSF decided to suspend the presence of all its international staff in Bossaso and to rely on Somali staff to run the medical and nutritional activities. Their great dedication and total commitment has been essential for the continuation of the nutritional assistance provided to malnourished children in the IDP camps. “But the lack of acceptable security conditions left the organization with no other option than to close the project” said Dr. Roger Teck, MSF Director of Operations.

However, MSF would like to highlight the deteriorated health situation of the internally displaced people living on the outskirts of Bossaso who are in a very precarious condition. Women and children have been worst affected by the long humanitarian crisis causing suffering and exposing them to malnutrition, disease and increased risk of death. In December 2007, the results of the nutritional survey carried out by MSF showed an alarmingly high level (27.2 %) of global acute malnutrition, with 9.4 % severe acute malnutrition. All of these figures are above emergency threshold levels according to WHO 2005 Standards. During the seven months that the project was running, MSF admitted 1,957 severely malnourished children in its nutritional program of whom 516 children had to be hospitalized for in-patient therapeutic feeding and care.

Nutritional Survey carried out by MSF:
  • 27.2% Global acute malnutrition
  • 9.4%  Severe acute malnutrition

MSF has worked continuously in Somalia for more than 16 years and is currently providing medical care in 10 regions in the country. In 2007, several new projects were opened as a response to the medical and humanitarian consequences of the current war. Throughout the year medical teams performed more than 2,500 surgical operations, 520,000 outpatient consultations and admitted around 23,000 patients to hospitals.

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