Somalia: MSF Treats War-Wounded Patients at Guri-El Hospital

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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MSF has treated dozens of war-wounded patients following fighting in the town of Webho in Central Somalia on June 5.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has treated dozens of war-wounded patients following fighting in the town of Webho in Central Somalia on June 5.

The patients arrived on the night of June 5 at the 80-bed MSF-run Istarlin Hospital in Guri El, approximately 60 km (40 miles) northeast of the clashes in the region of Galgaduud.

After initial triage by the medical staff on duty, seven patients were identified as in need of urgent surgery; six were treated in the outpatient department and discharged immediately thereafter; and the rest were admitted for further treatment of fractures and other non life-threatening injuries.

To cope with the large influx of patients to the hospital, which was already almost full due to a measles epidemic, extra staff were called in and additional bed capacity was created by clearing auxiliary rooms and using the corridors. On June 6, a ward round was carried out to ensure that all patients ready to go home were discharged.

Delay of measles campaign

Since the beginning of May, MSF has treated more than 104 cases of measles in the Istarlin Hospital and the outpatient department staff were in the process of preparing for a measles vaccination campaign in the area.

Preparations included visits to a number of villages, some up to 54 km (35 miles) from Guri El, in search of more cases and to inform the villagers about the upcoming vaccination campaign, which will commence in the coming weeks.

However, due to a limited availability of qualified staff, the nurses and nurse aides responsible for the measles activities have been re-assigned to care for the wounded in the hospital. The outreach activities have consequently been put on hold and nurses and nurse aides are on stand-by.

MSF will resume the measles activities in the coming days.