(ERGO) – A small local health centre has been trying to cope with an outbreak of diarrhoea among villagers hit by recent flooding in central Somalia’s Mudug region.
Faduma Awil Salad, the head of the health centre in Sedeh-higle village, 50 km south of Galkayo, told Radio Ergo that they had treated 54 people, including 47 children, for diarrhoea over the course of a week.
The cases were first reported on 9 November. Since then, the centre treated an average of 10 diarrhoea patients a day.
Fadumo said they were providing care for patients at their homes because the centre was not equipped for in-patient care.
“We help them by checking their condition and assessing their level of dehydration. We administer ORS (oral rehydration salts), and other medicine. We also use nasal feeding tubes to feed the children in serious condition,” Faduma said.
The charity Saf-UK has been paying the salaries for the health centre’s staff and medical supplies for the past six months.
Two of Dahabo Ahmed Adan’s sons, aged two and four, fell sick with high fever and diarrhoea and vomiting on 10 November.
“The children became very weak, they couldn’t eat,” Dahabo said. “They were in a very serious condition when we brought them to the hospital. Relatives with sick people were rushing to the centre and I did same.”
The medical officers told Dahabo to take the boys back home and contact them if their condition worsened.
Sahra Ahmed Ali’s five year-old son was also infected. The family, with five children, was displaced by recent flooding and they are now living with relatives elsewhere in the village.
“He was in a bad state and dehydrated when we brought him to the hospital,” Sahro said. “After I rushed him to the hospital, he received fluids by drip. He is now recovering.”
Sahro confirmed that the medical officers have been following up on the child at home. She said several of her neighbours, children and adults, are also sick.
Sedeh-higle village chief, Khalif Warsame Mohamed, told Radio Ergo that hundreds of villagers were displaced by the floods last week.
“It has been raining from the first to the seventh of the month. The floods affected the homesteads of poor people and also destroyed 50 latrines. The floods have not only been caused by the rain but the water also came from outside the village,” he said.