Deaths from diarrhoea in Buhodle, northern SomaliaPhoto | File photo/Ergo
(ERGO) - Seventeen people, including 11 children, have died of acute watery diarrhoea in the northern Somali town of Buhodle town and six nearby villages in the past 10 days, according to the head of a local committee set up to tackle the outbreak that is spreading rapidly.
Abdifatah Mohamed Abdille, head of the 11-member emergency committee, said about 280 people, mostly children, are currently receiving treatment for diarrhoea in Buhodle hospital and 120 others in temporary health centres in the villages.
He said 12 deaths occurred in Buhodle, three in Goljano village, and two in Hamar-laguhid village.
Other villages affected are Aroweyn, Dhilalo, Dandan and Sol-jogto.
The only school in Goljano, 60 km from Buhodle, has been turned into an emergency treatment centre, as the village has no formal health facility.
Fatima Ali is there with three of her children who are suffering from diarrhoea. She lost her five-year-old daughter to the disease on 22 April, while she was out of the house getting water.
“When I returned to the house, after two hours of searching water for the thirsty children, I found her unconscious, with pools of vomit and watery stools everywhere around the house,” Fatima told Radio Ergo’s reporter.
The committee organised health teams comprising of medical staff from the region to visit the villages to treat people. In villages where there is no facility to use, they treat people under the trees and outside their homes.
Farhan Aden Ali, 32, is also being treated at Goljano primary school. He said his wife and his three-year-old daughter died this week in the school. He took part in the burial of his daughter on 19 April while he himself was sick.
Farhan said he was told to stay in the centre for three further days. He came from a rural area about 30 km away, where drought has killed his herd of 160 goats and two camels.
Seynab Alawash, who is leading a group of doctors from Sool region involved in the intervention, told Radio Ergo they treated as many patients as possible in the villages and transferred those in critical condition to Buhodle hospital.
The emergency committee has received some funds from the Somali government, the local administration, business people and from the diaspora. The donations included cash as well as medicines distributed to the health teams visiting the villages.
Buhodle is in disputed territory claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland.
Warbixinno la xiriira