Somalia: MSF Laments Attack on Medical Students' Graduation

Medical needs in Somalia are vast, and frequently made worse by violence and drought. The graduates of Benadir University offer a rare hope for the Somali people—the possibility of lifesaving medical care. This year MSF supported and recruited a number of the university's first graduates.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply saddened by the recent attack during the graduation of medical students from Benadir University. Medical needs throughout Somalia are vast, and in many places made all the worse by high levels of violence and prolonged drought. In contrast, the provision of medical care is vastly insufficient and many people throughout the country suffer unnecessarily as a result of the lack of healthcare.

The medical graduates of Benadir University offer a rare hope for the Somali people—the possibility of lifesaving medical care. Medical staff provides assistance based on medical need alone, regardless of political or clan affiliation. Their work is crucial in reducing the suffering of the country’s most vulnerable, for example malnourished children, pregnant women, and men with trauma related injuries. In order to do this, the safety of medical staff and facilities must be assured.

In 2009, MSF was proud to support their training and recruit a number of Benadir University’s first medical graduates. They joined MSF’s other committed Somali staff whose work enables the organization to continue to run 10 projects in eight regions throughout Somalia, with the support of a remote management team based in Nairobi.

MSF sends its thoughts and condolences to the families and friends of those who have suffered as a result of this tragic event.

MSF has worked in Somalia for more than 17 years and continues to provide free medical care in eight regions of the country today, thanks to our committed Somali staff, supported by a remote management team based in Nairobi.

In 2008 alone, MSF teams provided 727,428 outpatient consultations, including 267,168 for children under five. Over 55,000 women received antenatal care consultations and more than 24,000 people were admitted as inpatients to MSF-supported hospitals and health clinics. There were 3,878 surgeries—1,249 cases were injuries due to violence. Medical teams treated 1,036 people suffering from the deadly neglected disease kala azar, more than 4,000 for malaria, and started 1,556 people on tuberculosis treatment. Nearly 35,000 people suffering from malnutrition were provided with food and medical care and 82,174 vaccinations were given.