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Somalia: Medical Activities Resume in Hawa Abdi
June 21, 2010
“We are relieved that the security situation in Hawa Abdi has improved and that we have been able to resume our medical activities,” Doctors Without Borders/Médecins San Frontières (MSF) Head of Mission, David Querol, said recently. “The armed groups that occupied the clinic have left the hospital and our medical staff are treating patients once again.”
Medical activities in Hawa Abdi have been steadily resuming since the end of May, starting with the nutritional programs. MSF medical teams have already treated 907 children in the ambulatory therapeutic feeding program and 131 in the inpatient feeding program. Last weekend, the pediatric activities in the hospital reopened; 35 children have since been admitted. MSF continues to assess the overall security situation and hopes to restart outpatient services very soon.
On May 5, 2010, a private dispute escalated into a violent clash in the area surrounding the Hawa Abdi clinic in Somalia and triggered the occupation of the medical premises by an armed group. MSF was forced to evacuate its patients and suspend its activities, leaving thousands of Somalis living in the Afgooye corridor without access to health care. MSF urges all warring parties in Somalia to respect the neutrality of medical facilities and staff so that the organization can continue its life-saving work.
MSF has worked in Somalia since 1991 and currently provides free medical care in Banadir, Bay, Hiraan, Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Galgaduud and Mudug Regions. Over 1,300 Somali staff, supported by approximately 100 staff in Nairobi provide primary and secondary health care, malnutrition treatment, support to displaced people, surgery, water and relief supply distributions.