Increased fighting in Kismayo leaves more than 300 injured in June
1.Latest clashes bring total number of casualties in Kismayo to more than 300;
2.44% increase of injured civilians and deaths reported in the month of June;
3.WHO supports hospitals in treatment of victims injured in Kismayo violence.
Recent fierce fighting between rival groups in the Somali port city of Kismayo, continues to have a profound impact on civilians and humanitarian aid work in the Lower Jubba region. This brings the total number of casualties in June to 314, including 15 female and 5 children under the age of 5 years. Of all casualties, 187 were treated in Kismayo General Hospital. The number of deaths were reported as 71, of those 11 in the Hospital.
WHO received reports that another 60 injured cases were referred to hospitals in Mogadishu and 51 to Galkayo for further treatment. Injuries and deaths outside the hospital are estimated to be much higher but cannot be confirmed.
Most patients suffered fractures, head and chest injuries, and almost 40 patients had to undergo surgical operations. WHO is concerned about this high number of casualties reported in the month of June. From January to June 2013, 661 weapon-related injuries were treated in Kismayo General Hospital; 29 under the age of 5 years. A 44% increase in weapon-related injuries was seen as compared to the month of May (see trend graph).
Kismayo remains a volatile area, with observed increase in fighting among warring factions, and other incidences of violence such as landmines and hand grenade attacks. Conflict increases displacement of civilians, limiting their access to health care and amplifying the risk of outbreaks of cholera and other communicable diseases. Due to the ongoing conflict, the polio campaign has been delayed. While preparation has been initiated, the implementation will start as soon as the situation permits.
To be able to respond to emergencies like the current one, in recent months, WHO and partners prepositioned almost five tons of emergency medical supplies in Kismayo. With the support of Norway and Saudi Arabia, WHO provided surgical equipment to Kismayo General Hospital in October 2012.
WHO supports major hospitals in Kismayo, Galkayo and Mogadishu, and has dispatched 2 Interagency Emergency Health kits to Kismayo and another 2 to Galkayo.
WHO continues to support hospitals and health service providers in remote areas of south and central Somalia. Emergency trauma surgery, Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care (CEmOC) and emergency health services are provided for the most vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and displaced people.
For further information, please contact Dr. Omar Saleh, Emergency Coordinator, WHO Somalia Contact: email@example.com or +254 (0)736 66111