MSF Somalia 2009 booklet

01.07.2010 | Assisting Somalis

MSF in Somalia

In 2009, the Somali population continued to fall victim to indiscriminate violence, while severe drought plagued parts of the country. Millions of people urgently required health care, yet the enormous gap between the needs of Somalis and the humanitarian response on the ground continued to widen. MSF staff in eight regions of the country worked round the clock to provide desperately needed medical care as well as assisting Somalis in Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia, Malta and Greece.

Life-saving surgical care

In projects in Galcayo, Mudug region,and Marere, Lower Juba region, the organisation was able to restart emergency surgical activities by recruiting three doctors who graduated from medical school in Mogadishu at the end of 2008.In the last five months of 2009, these three doctors performed 13 caesarean sections and 104 major surgeries, 55 of which were for injuries caused by violence. In total MSF’s surgical teams in Somalia performed 2,987 major and minor surgeries in 2009.

In Daynile Hospital, just outside the capital of Mogadishu, MSF staff treated scores of civilians injured in a dramatic upsurge in fighting in February, receiving 121 admissions in just one day. 1,137 people were admitted for blast injuries; of which 537 were women and children under the age of 14. MSF’s hospital in the central town of Belet Weyne received a total of 178 war wounded patients needing surgical interventions in 2009. In Guri El, in the neighbouring region of Galgaduud, more than 230 war wounded patients were treated over the course of the year following renewed fighting in the region.

Responding to emergency needs

In early 2009, renewed fighting in Guri El and Dhusa Mareb, central Somalia, prompted thousands of civilians to flee their homes. MSF supplied water and medical care to displaced persons in the area. Throughout the year, teams also responded to outbreaks of cholera, treating 869 people in Jilib and Marere in the Lower Juba region and 80 patients in Jowhar and Mahaday, Middle Shabelle region. Due to an increase in the number of measles cases reported, MSF launched mass vaccination campaigns in four regions of Somalia in 2009. Approximately 73,000 children between six months and 15 years old were vaccinated in Belet Weyne, Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Bay regions and around 1,500 people suffering from measles were treated.

Drought, combined with chronic poverty, bad harvests, high food prices, and ongoing violence meant that the number of children under treatment for severe malnutrition reached an all time high in MSF’s nutritional programme in Galcayo. 2,281 children were treated in South Galcayo Hospital and North Galcayo Feeding Centre between October and December 2009 alone. Elsewhere, MSF teams working in the Mogadishu suburbs of Hawa Abdi treated more than 14,000 children for malnutrition over the course of the year.

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