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We toured the strategic coastal city of Kismayo, located some 500kms south of the capital Mogadishu. Our first visit was Kismayo General Hospital, the only functional health institution in Somalia’s third biggest town.
There we met with more than thirty patients with some claiming to have come from towns hundreds of kilometers away in the hope of finding proper medical care.
Health organizations say Malaria is one of the most common diseases in the town however no distributions of Mosquito nets to IDPs, host communities or community households has taken place in a long period of time. Doctors in the hospital say that majority of patients are old people and young children.
The port city is an important financial hub and over the past few years, the hospital was not fully functional due to lack of essential medical equipment and inadequate staff. Not only that doctors operate in a congested environment as the hospital has few standing structures left after years of conflict.
Somali lawmaker Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig who comes from the Lower Juba region however blamed aid agencies for failing to properly address the crisis.
International health organizations say they are unable to provide humanitarian assistance to patients there unless the security situation in Somalia improves.
The Kismayo General Hospital serves as the only functional health institution in the town and treats hundreds of patients on a daily basis. But for now all that the people of that city can hope for is the health and humanitarian crisis in the region will come to an end soon.