15 August, 2011. Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières sent medical teams and four charter planes carrying 55 tons of medical equipment, medicines and therapeutic food to Mogadishu in response to the crisis in Somalia. An estimated 100,000 people have fled from south and central Somalia to the capital to seek assistance in recent weeks. They are settling in numerous camps in and around Mogadishu, with little or no access to health care.
MSF has started measles vaccination campaigns in dozens of makeshift camps where thousands of people have gathered after fleeing the exceptional drought and the violence in other parts of the country. Almost 3,000 children have been vaccinated so far.
Around 1,000 children have been screened for malnutrition. More than half of them were indeed malnourished.
“MSF is extremely worried about the situation of the displaced. The situation is critical. MSF has begun reinforcing its operations in Mogadishu and is assessing areas around the capital in order to adequately respond to this crisis,” said Dr Unni Karunakara, International President of MSF.
Through a mobile clinic MSF staff have started to provide medical care to around 100 patients daily. The teams are also distributing of relief items, such as hygiene materials and plastic sheeting for temporary shelter.
MSF has been providing medical care in the capital for many years, through health facilities in Daynile and Darkheley where more than 370 medical consultations were provided last week . To address the increasing medical needs, MSF will open inpatient therapeutic feeding centres, a measles treatment unit as well as a 50-bed cholera treatment centre in Mogadishu in the coming days.