Ethiopia, Somali Region

Somali refugees in Somali region of Ethiopia

Somali refugees in Somali region of Ethiopia© MSF

In Ethiopia’s Somali region, MSF assists refugees from Somalia as well as ethnic Somalis living in Ethiopia. For more  information on MSF’s work in Ethiopia please visit the Ethiopia page on MSF international website

Liben project

In February 2009, MSF  started  providing  emergency  medical assistance to Somali refugees living  in  transit  camps  and  permanent camps and those who have found accommodation  with  the  local  community in Liben. In Dolo Ado transit  camp,  which  houses people who are waiting to be transferred to other  two  permanent  camps, called  Boquolmayo and Melkadida, MSF teams provide  free  basic  health  care,  nutritional  screening  and  measles vaccination  for  children  under 15 years old in collaboration with the Administration   for  Refugee/Returnee  Affairs  of  the  Government  of Ethiopia.  MSF teams support the health centre in Dolo Ado town, which offers in and outpatient care, maternity care, paediatric care, nutritional assistance, vaccinations and referrals to Mandera hospital.

MSF also undertakes epidemic surveillance and response around the town and in the surrounding area. In Boquolmayo and Melkadida refugee camps, MSF supports the population with nutritional services.

Degahbur project

MSF started working in Degahbur, Somali Region, in December 2007. MSF teams support the main hospital managed by the Regional Health Bureau. In 2009 services were expanded to include sexual and reproductive health, including ante and post-natal care, family planning, maternity services and treatment for sexual and gender based violence. The inpatient department is run by MSF and includes a stabilisation centre for severely malnourished children with medical complications. MSF also supports outpatient consultations for children under the age of five, the emergency room and ensures a 24 hour referral system to Jijiga Karamara regional hospital for urgent surgery. Logistics support is provided, including making improvements to the waste management system, building extra storage and putting a better water supply system in place.

MSF medical teams also run mobile clinics in order to provide care to rural communities in Degahbur, who may have been cut off from care by the violence.  These teams provide general primary  health care consultations, nutrition  screening,  hospital  referrals, psycho-social counselling and health  education.  An outpatient therapeutic programme and supplementary feeding programme provide treatment for acutely malnourished children.

In 2009 MSF teams in Degahbur carried out 19,657 outpatient consultations and treated 12,978 people for malnutrition.

Imey project

Since August 2009, MSF has been running a primary health care centre in Easy Imey town in Somali region.  Medical teams of national and international staff provide outpatient care, ante-natal services and treatment for malnutrition.  The centre also includes a 15 bed inpatient department (IPD) as well as a maternity section. On average, 800 patients receive treatment in the outpatient departments of the health centre, and 70 are admitted in the IPD every month.

Across the river, MSF supports a health centre in neighbouring West Imey district. Staff at the centre provide around 1,000 outpatient consultations every month, including ante-natal care, nutrition treatment and vaccinations.

In order to improve access for people who cannot reach the health centre, teams also carry out mobile clinics in areas that are up to two days walk from Imey town. MSF plans to extend its mobile outreach activities in Imey district in the second half of 2010

Wardher project

MSF has been supporting a Bureau of Health (BoH) facility in Wardher since March 2007. MSF teams provide primary healthcare, including inpatient and outpatient services, treatment of malnutrition, treatment of tuberculosis, reproductive healthcare and laboratory work. MSF also supports the facility by providing drugs, medical and non medical materials.

In 2009 MSF responded, in cooperation with the BoH, to a nutrition crisis in Bokh district, and to a measles outbreak in Labile, Galadi district. MSF also took part in water trucking, responding to the emergency needs of the population who were badly affected by drought.

Geladi project

In May 2009, MSF supported the Bureau of Health in opening a health centre in Geladi, Somali region. Between March and May, MSF’s intervention was focused on responding to an outbreak of acute watery diarrheoa, with teams treating 180 cases. Activities then expanded to include the provision of basic primary healthcare, outpatient consultations, immunizations, nutritional screening and outpatient therapeutic feeding.


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