Children in Beletweyne hospital with diarrhoeaPhoto | Maryan Muhumed in Beletweyne hospital with her sick child/Jamal/Ergo
(ERGO) - The general director of Beletweyne hospital, Ahmed Mohamed Khalif, told Radio Ergo that an outbreak of diarrhea affecting large numbers of children was continuing to cause concern.
Twenty-three were currently admitted to the hospital for treatment, Ahmed said.
In the last two weeks of January, 87 children had been admitted for treatment and discharged.
Ahmed said most of the children infected were under the age of five. “We admit only those with severe diarrhea so that we can more effectively provide them the medical attention they need,” he said.
The children being brought to the hospital, which is supported by local NGO WARDI, are being treated free of charge.
Radio Ergo's reporter spoke to Jawahir Saney Hussein, who was nursing her 20-month old baby boy in the hospital. She said she lived in Khadijo Khudaarrey IDP camp in Beletweyne town. Her son had a high fever and diarrhea and was now responding to treatment, though she had not brought him to the hospital immediately he fell sick.
Maryan Muhumed from Ma’aan Qaalle Village, 20 km west of Beledweyne, had been in the hospital for a week with her son, aged three. She said there was no healthcare centre in her village.
The hospital director pointed out that during the dry season there were low levels of water in the wells and many local people were resorting to using river water which was unclean.
He said the hospital was giving advice on food and water hygiene in the community and on the need to takeg sick children immediately to healthcare centres.
In late January, Radio Ergo reported cases of diarrhea in neighboring Mudug region, affecting not only children and infants but also elderly people.
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