Branching out in Galgaduud, Somalia

Health assistance Galgadud Project objective: To provide quality healthcare in the northern Galgaduud region and improve the health status of the general population.

Activities: Dhusamareeb Hospital: OPD and TB treatment. Istarlin Hospital: Guri El town: Surgery, OPD, mother and child healthcare, inpatient department (IPD), paediatric IPD and therapeutic feeding centre. Lab and x-ray facilities are provided. Hinder Health Post: Under construction. OPD and referrals to other MSF health structures.

The 300,0001 people of central Somalia's Galgadud region have been in dire need of quality medical care for years. In January 2006, MSF opened a project in Galgadud, offering acute medical care and life-saving surgery free of charge. In Guri El town, MSF supports the 80-bed Istarlin Hospital. The hospital receives patients from the surrounding 250km.

Guri El is on the road between Mogadishu and Galcayo. Many of the trauma cases at Istarlin Hospital are victims of traffic accidents. Gunshot wounds and other injuries from fighting add to the hospital's surgical admissions. The bulk of the other surgical interventions are the result of complications during childbirth.

During 2006, over 18,000 people received consultations and free medication in the Outpatient Department (OPD) of Istarlin. 1,672 serious cases from the OPD were admitted to the inpatient department. A comprehensive Mother and Child Healthcare (MCH) component is being introduced in 2007, including surgery for life saving deliveries.

Over 270 surgical interventions were performed in the last 10 months of 2006. MSF also has an outpatient health centre in the regional capital, Dhusamareeb, 65km from Guri El. In 2006, over 6,400 OPD consultations were given. MSF is implementing tuberculosis treatment there in 2007.

Given that all figures rose during 2006, MSF expects significantly more patients in the coming year.

MSF is also constructing an outpatient centre in Hinder, which is planned to open in summer 2007.

Seven international and 70 national staff run the MSF project in Galgadud.

1 WHO populations figures from polio eradication campaign, 2006