(ERGO) – In a remote village 50km north of the central Somali town of Dhusamareb town, Ali Abdikadir, a medical officer, is going to people’s homes trying to control an outbreak of diarrhoea.
Since the closure last March of the health centre in Hananbur, after funding from the NGOSWISSO-KALMO ended, Abdikadir is providing the only available health service for this village of around 1,500 people.
With the assistance of a young boy, who helps carry his equipment, Ali walks door to door every morning armed with him sachets of oral rehydration solution sachets and drips to treat the sick people he encounters.
“I have no option but to move around as the health post in the village is not operating. The diarrhea outbreak is spreading fast so we need to move quickly to reduce its impact,” Abdikadir told Radio Ergo.
Abdikadir said one person died in the village last week and 13 people are infected. He successfully treated another 10 patients.
“The area is very hot and has no clean water and these might be the factors leading to the spread of diarrhea,” he said.
Abdikadirbuys medicines from Dhusamareb. Most of the patients are unable to pay for treatment immediately so he waits for them to pay when the can.
For patients he is unable to treat, Abdikadir refers them to the nearest towns of Dhusamareb or Adado.
HabibaDiriyehad to hire a vehicle to take five of her sick children to the hospital. Speaking to Radio Ergo from Dhusamarab, she said she had spent $250 on the children’s treatment and now had to find means to return to the village.
The village has also been facing measles cases since December last year.
Fadumo Abdullahi, 55, told Radio Ergo eight of her children have been treated by Abdikadir for diarrhea this week.
Fadumo, who runs a tea kiosk, said she could not have afforded to take them to hospital.
“He helped us a lot because if it wasn’t for him, we could not take the children to a hospital due to financial problems. In this village we have no hospital, so he treats my children,” said Faduma.