Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A view from a Somali hospital

Malaria, starvation, random bombings are some of the things the hospitals in Mogadishu, Somalia have to treat. Lack of water, mosquitoes every where and few equipment and medicines only compound the difficulties for the medical staff.

From this essay that we found at Reuters Alert Net, OXFAM worker Hassan Noor tells us what he encountered at one of Mogadishu's hospitals.

But Mogadishu is not like most other cities. In a room in Medina hospital lay the dead body of a middle-aged man, so horrifically disfigured that his grieving family could not even confirm whether it was their father and husband. The man had left his home early that morning to go to work - just as millions of fathers do every morning all over the world. But as he walked down the street, he was hit by a rocket mortar. His head exploded and he died instantly. There was nothing the doctors at Medina could do.

This kind of indiscriminate shelling has had a devastating effect on the city. In the past month, about 20,000 people have fled Mogadishu - earlier this year, thousands were fleeing every day. But many still remain - and as the fighting and desperate poverty continues, hospitals like Medina are more important than ever.

The lack of proper equipment and the incredible pressure on doctors all over Mogadishu can have devastating consequences.

Iqro Asdi Adah, a seven-year-old girl at Banaadir, was severely wounded by stray bullets as she and her family tried to flee the city. As they scrambled her to a makeshift roadside clinic, doctors tried to save her, but in the process accidentally gave her the wrong blood transfusion. She is now staying at Medina, where she lives in constant agony, her face and skin disfigured and scarred, and the nurses try their best to ease her pain as her mother begs for anyone to help.

A few months ago, Oxfam and our local partners, along with a couple of other organisations, began work at these hospitals. We delivered some basic but life-saving medicines, and some mosquito nets to help protect sick patients from malaria. Since then, we have built a new water tank in Medina to ensure the hospital has a flowing supply of clean water, and helped renovate some of the wards in Banaadir hospital - fixing windows and latrines. We are about to provide 400 beds to Banaadir for children there - this will be the biggest such delivery the hospital has received since the start of the civil war.

1 comment:

nitrile gloves said...

This is true...many hospitals are not so equipped with latest instruments and aids.I hope the help comes across soon.