I lost two pregnancies before because my husband and I could not afford the cost of medical consultation – which was five dollars per visit,” says Fatuma. She is one of more than 10,000 people living in a Mogadishu camp to benefit from our work to address shortages in primary healthcare.
With funding from Islamic Relief Sweden and Radiohelp, we constructed the only health centre in Daynile camp, on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital city. Islamic Relief Belgium and Netherlands have added extra facilities – reducing the distance that hundreds of pregnant and new mothers now travel to access healthcare services.
We also provided essential medical equipment including delivery beds, testing kits, disposables and assorted medicines.
The camp – which is situated in the Banadir region – is home to over 10,800 people who were forced from their homes by conflict and drought. Over a quarter of a million people died in the two-year famine that began in 2010, and although conditions are improving, Somalis still suffer one of the world’s highest child malnutrition and mortality rates.
In Daynile, periodic drought has led to increased demand for healthcare services – leaving providers struggling to cope.
“I am six months pregnant and have come back to seek medical attention at this health centre. I have had severe abdomen and back pain. Currently everything is free and there are no transport issues.”
Fatuma Ahmed Mohamed, Daynile camp, Somalia
In addition, Islamic Relief has established an outreach service which also serves communities around the camp. This has improved the skills and knowledge of midwives and doctors in integrated antenatal and postnatal care, family planning and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Maternal and child health teams have also received essential supplies.
Complementing a comprehensive health programme
The project, which also raises awareness of HIV/ Aids and gender issues, complements an existing programme that is running four health clinics in Lower Shabelle and three in Banadir, as well as three mobile clinics.
At Banadir hospital we have set up a diarrhoea triage centre, and brought volunteer doctors from Canada to train clinical staff in preventing infections. Three ambulances have also been provided to serve the camps in Banadir.