Bakool: Increasing numbers, unchanging needs

Poverty, drought and the absence of public services largely define the daily life of Bakool’s mostly pastoral and nomadic population. The main source of free medical care is the MSF network of health posts, centred around the organisation’s health centre in the regional capital, Xudur.

The MSF health centre was established in 2000. Since then, the organisation has set up four health posts, reaching out to local communities and providing better medical coverage in the region. Trauma, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and malnutrition are among the pathologies that would go untreated and claim many lives if MSF were not present in the region. In Bakool, MSF also focuses on treating kala azar – ‘black fever’ – and tuberculosis. In 2006, MSF treated 1,002 children with kala azar. This is a huge increase from 2005 when 259 children were treated.

In 2006, the Bakool project admitted 284 severely malnourished children (a 40% increase compared to 2005). 139 patients were enrolled in the health centre’s uberculosis treatment programme. The Inpatient Department (IPD) facilities treated 580 general and 1,236 paediatric patients in 2006, not including the tuberculosis and kala azar departments.

MSF also runs four health posts in the Bakool region; in El Garas, El Berde, Labatan Jerow and Rabdurreh. The health posts provide primary healthcare and can refer patients to the health centre in Xudur. Nine international and 130 local staff ran the MSF Bakool project in 2006.

The target population are the 246,0006 people living Somalia’s Bakool region. In total, the Xudur health centre and surrounding health posts provided 45,000 patients with Outpatient Department (OPD) and Mother & Child Healthcare (MCH) consultations in 2006. This represents a 25% increase in the total number of consultations in the Bakool project from 2005.


Primary healthcare Bakool

Project objective: To provide basic healthcare in Bakool region, with an emphasis on quality treatment for neglected diseases like tuberculosis and kala azar.
Activities:
- Health centre in Xudur town with OPD and IPD.
The OPD mainly treats lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and trauma.
- An MCH component addresses issues of Mother and child health during and after pregnancies.
- The IPD consists of adult and paediatric wards, a kala azar ward, tuberculosis ward and Therapeutic Feeding Center (TFC).
Outreach activities: - Health posts in El Berde, El Garas, Labatan Jerow and Rabdurreh provide primary healthcare and refer tuberculosis and kala azar patients to the health centre in Xudur. There are nutritional screenings in Xudur, Istorte and Rabdurreh, with severe cases referred to TFC in Xudur.
- Surveillance of diseases with epidemic potential is carried out.