© Michael Tsegaye
MSF has been working in Somalia since 1991. With the deterioration of the security situation in Somalia in 2010, basic medical services also deteriorated and the needs grew. MSF provides free emergency surgery and care for the war-wounded in Daynile hospital, nine kilometres northwest of Mogadishu as well as in six other areas inckuding the Shabelle region in central Somalia, where the staff offer maternal and paediatric care, general medical care and treatment for malnutrition.
In Somaliland MSF staff supported the emergency surgery department, the paediatric and maternity wards in Ceerigabo hospital (the main referral centre for Sanaag region). MSF also established links with health centres in the area to encourage referrals. In 2010, MSF carried out a measles immunisation campaign for children under 15 and a tetanus vaccination campaign for adults aged between 15 and 49. The campaign focused particularly on increasing the number of women protected against tetanus, as they are more susceptible to infection. Almost 6,400 children were immmunised against measles and almost 6,300 women were vaccinated against tetanus.
In 2011, two MSF employees were abducted in the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya while providing emergency assistance for the Somali population there and two other were killed while implementing emergency assistance projects in Mogadishu. MSF has condemned the attacks on aid workers saying they jeopardize life-saving medical projects that are already far from adequate in addressing the vast medical needs of the Somali population.