Hudur hospital, the only hospital in southern Somalia’s entire Bakool region equipped for a wide range of health services, has reopened under the control of the regional administration, after being closed for three years.
The South-West State administration of Somalia, which is now managing the hospital, received three aeroplane-loads of medical supplies, as well as 18 medical staff including two surgeons.
In the first week of opening its doors, during the last week of December, 250 patients visited the hospital and 23 were admitted, according to the hospital’s Dr Ishaq Mohamed Mursal. The patients were suffering from a range of diseases and conditions including diarrhoea, malaria, malnutrition, diabetes, pneumonia, and high blood pressure.
At least 30 patients a day from other districts in Bakool also visited the hospital during its first week of operation. All in-patient, out-patient, emergency, and pharmacy services are provided free of charge.
The director of the ministry of health in South-West State, Ishaq Mohamed Mursal, told Radio Ergo the hospital was being supported by international NGO World Vision, which would pay staff salaries and provide medical supplies until the state could take over.
Last month, 30 women died in childbirth in Hudur, according to medical officials, due to the lack of health care services available. Some of the women bled to death at home, whilst others died before they could reach health facilities in Mogadishu or Baidoa.
Doctors at the hospital were able to save two women with complications in childbirth, although one baby died, during the first few days of the hospital’s opening..
Fadumo Abdullahi Hassan fell seriously ill in December in Banjinay village, 30 km east of Hudur, with a chest infection. The small local clinic could not help her and she no money to go elsewhere. She was successfully treated at Hudur hospital last week.
Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a diabetes patient, said he was happy to be able to access free treatment in his home region. He recently spent $600 travelling toHe recently speHe H Baidoa to seek medical attention.
Hudur is under long-time siege by Al-Shabab forces, who control what comes in and out of the area by road. Air transport is a safer and faster method of bringing in supplies but inevitably there are high costs. The hospital pays $150 to transport medical supplies from Baidoa, 155 km away, and $250 to transport the same medicine from Mogadishu.