NATO warships bring medical help to HobyoPhoto | NATO medic treating the sick in Hobyo/Photo/Guled/Ergo
A team of doctors from NATO warships on piracy patrol off the Somali coast provided a 4-day medical camp for local people in Hobyo at the end of March.
Italian doctors came ashore by arrangement with the Hobyo Mayor, Mahamoud Awaale, and treated 147 men, women and children for various ailments. “When we saw the health problems prevailing in Hobyo we contacted the NATO forces and asked for their assistance, and they have answered our plea,” the mayor said. “The people of Hobyo have endured ill-health and poor education for so long.”
Ali Baashe Ma’alin Abitidoon was one of the beneficiaries of the medical help. He said: “I was treated for a kidney ailment after a series of tests using computers, and after the diagnosis I was given medicines.”
Dr. Makahil Ahmed Mohamed, a local doctor who helped the NATO team in the exercise, said patients came from all over Galgadud region, from as far as Haradeere, to the camp. Hobyo itself has a population of around 12,000.
Maryam Ahmed said she her two-year-old child, who had been sick for a year and had visited numerous local health centres without success, was helped by the NATO doctors.
Hobyo is an ancient harbour, 510 km north of Mogadishu, that has long provided shelter and fresh water for seafarers. It is said the name comes from the phrase “hoo biyo” – meaning “here is water.” But more recently, Hobyo has been hitting the world headlines for matters related to sea piracy.