Kenya, Dadaab refugee camp

Somali woman i Dadaab helped by MSF staff

Somali woman i Dadaab helped by MSF staff © Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Kenya, on the border with Somalia, is home to thousands of Somali refugees. The majority of refugees live in three camps located around the town of Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya. Initially built to cater for 90,000 people, the three camps now host close to 300,000 refugees.

Despite the closure of the border in 2007, an average of 5,000 refugees arrive in Dadaab every month, putting increased pressure on the already extremely overcrowded camps.

Faced with such acute and increased needs, MSF started working in Dadaab in early 2009. The organisation is now responsible for all healthcare in one of the camps, Dagahaley.

MSF runs a one hundred bed hospital which offers all levels of secondary care, including surgery, and four health posts around the camp provide vaccinations, antenatal care, preventative and curative care and mental health care for both adults and children. The medical needs are huge, with around 10,000 outpatient consultations and 600 admissions every month. From August to December 2009, MSF cared for more than 67,000 patients, including 2,245 malnourished children in its therapeutic feeding centre. 3,457 patients were admitted to the MSF hospital and 627 women received assistance with deliveries.

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