(ERGO) – Two hospitals in the central Somali region of Galgadud are on the brink of closure due to lack of funds to support operations.
People living in Abudwaq and Balanballe are having to seek private treatment, as Ibado hospital in Abudwaq and Balanballe hospital are running out of drugs and cannot provide services.
The International Medical Corps (IMC) ceased its support to both hospitals in June, citing lack of funds.
Dr Nur Hussein Sheikhdon, the director of Ibado hospital, told Radio Ergo that since then they have been facing financial problems. The hospital can no longer pay staff salaries, water and electricity bills or buy medical supplies.
“I fear the institution could soon halt its services due to lack of funds. The hospital serves a large population. People from various towns come here for treatment,” he said.
Dr Nur said the hospital treated 9,800 people from Abudwaq and surrounding areas in June and July. The 35 staff of doctors, nurses, cleaners and watchmen have been working without pay since June.
Habiba Osman, who lives in Abudwaq, took her daughter-in-law to the hospital when she went into labour but found she could not be assisted. She, therefore, took her daughter-in-law to a private hospital, where she had to pay.
“We used to get free services at Ibado hospital but now I was forced to go to a private hospital because they are no longer able to support us. I am struggling to pay the $30 bill,” she said.
The hospital in Balanballe town, 95 km away, faces a similar situation. Saqo Siyad Adde, a midwife at Balanballe hospital, said the hospital has cut down its operations.
“Our records show that the hospital treated 4,200 people in June and 900 in July. The hospital is running short of medicines and we fear we may not have enough for the next few months,” she said.
Saqo and 29 other staff are working without pay.
Farhiya Mohamed Elmi, a resident of Balanballe, expressed concern about the future of her family’s health care.
“Whether it is vaccination, check-up, treatment and dealing with malnutrition, we were relying on the hospital. We have no other free hospital, we pray the services to continue,” she said.
Abdifatah Qanyare, head of IMC in Galgadud region, confirmed the ending of its support to the hospitals due to lack of funding.
Officials from Galmudug health ministry told Radio Ergo that the authorities are trying to find ways to keep services going at both hospitals.