Aid crunch forces medical centres to close in Bakool amid malaria outbreak

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Sawir/Keydka Ergo

(ERGO) – The move by local aid agencies in Bakool region to cease operations has adversely affected local residents as medical centres supported by the agencies have been forced to close in the midst of a malaria outbreak.

Local NGOs based in Bakool region running the centres have stopped their operations after donors ceased their support, according to officials who spoke to Radio Ergo.

One of the areas most affected is Wajid town whose residents have been relying on three aid agencies for medical support.

Wajid Mother and Child Health Centre and other health centres run by

Gargaar Relief and Development Organisation (GREDO) and African Relief & Development (ARD) have been not delivering medical since late last month.

Adan Ibrahim Ali, head of a health centre run by GREDO has told Radio Ergo that his organisation halted its operations after aid support ended for four months.

“All operations were paused because the organisation has no more funds since the donors have ceased their support.

The centre used to treat mothers and children and it also used to manage severe malnutrition,” Adan said.

Yakub Adan Amin, Wajid Deputy District Commissioner said his administration did not have the capacity to provide full health services for the residents of the town.

“We do not have the capacity to fill the gaps left by these organisations. We sent several proposals. We do not have a general hospital here. We were only dependent on these health posts,” he explained.

An outbreak malaria in the area has made the situation worse with several children suffering the brunt of the disease.

Shamso Mohamed Nur, a mother of six who lives in Wajid told Radio Ergo that three of her children have been infected by malaria.

“We stay with the sick children at home because there is no operating healthcare here. Those who afford to seek medication from pharmacies are lucky but we do not have money. We have been relying on these health centres,” Shamso said.

Malaria outbreak is common at a time when deyr rain is experienced in several parts of the parts of the region escalating the situation.

Nurto Ibrahim Hussein and her eight children have been living in an IDP in Wajid town since last year.

Nurto told Radio Ergo that two of the children contracted diarrhea after they drunk contaminated water.

“Initially, we used to go the health centres to get free treatment but we have nowhere to go and I cannot afford to buy medicine for my children,” she said.

The militant group Al-Shabaab imposed a blockade on aid agencies in Bakool region in 2014 and has since maintained a grip on parts of Bakool region restricting aid support to residents.

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