Galcayo is located in south-central Somalia with a ‘green line’ that divides Galcayo South and Galcayo North between warring factions. Twenty years of violence have destroyed basic state services and the healthcare system. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, with one in 12 women dying during childbirth and one in seven children dying before his or her first birthday.
Galcayo has significant medical needs, not only for the local population but for the thousands of displaced people who have fled the ongoing violence in Mogadishu, about 466 miles (750 km) away, to settle in Galcayo South.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is the only provider of free health care services for hundreds of kilometers around. A team of 144 Somali staff work in MSF’s hospital in Galcayo South, providing a comprehensive range of services in its inpatient and outpatient departments, including trauma surgery, ante- and post- natal care, emergency obstetric services, infant care, and treatment for tuberculosis and malnutrition. Some patients travel to this MSF facility from as far away as Ethiopia, the border of which is 100 km (62 miles) away.
“MSF’s hospital in Galcayo South is a lifeline for people here,” says Karin Fischer-Liddle, MSF's head of mission in Somalia.
In Galcayo North, MSF also runs TB and nutritional clinics, including an out-patient center for children under 12 years old. Every year, MSF provides over 35,000 medical consultations. MSF is the biggest provider of free, quality medical care in Somalia.