Two new clinics for Somaliland
The clinic is like all the mother and child health/out-patient clinics run by the Somali Red Crescent. It has a basic staff of three people; a head nurse, a midwife and an auxiliary nurse. The local community played a considerable part in constructing the clinic buildings and is responsible for looking after the structure of the buildings, keeping them clean and providing security.
Female volunteers from the Erigavo office of the Somali Red Crescent joined up with elders from the town to promote the new clinic and invite people to attend, going around Erigavo with loudspeakers.
Some 370 kilometres away in the self-proclaimed independent state of Somaliland lies the town of Yagori, where another clinic was opened at the end of September. Within minutes of the official opening, patients already began to assemble outside. An old man hobbled up with a stick; the nurses hung up the scales for weighing babies; mothers waited patiently on the bench outside the consulting room.
These two clinics are funded by the German Red Cross Society. The Somali Red Crescent now runs 44 clinics across the country, providing a vital service for communities in a country where national health services have broken down; a result of nine years of civil war that have left the country with little infrastructure and no central government.
In the town of Baidoa, the International Federation is funding an out-patients department at the Alla-Aamin orphanage. The orphanage is home to 120 children, aged from four to twelve and is one of two orphanges in the city. It lies in the quarter called Ischa, not far from the bubbling spring of clear water that gives the city of Ischa-Baidoa, "the tear of Baidoa", its name.
The head nurse is Salad Mohamed Ali, 58, who along with his assistant, auxiliary nurse Mohamed Abdullahi Abdulle, deal with the orphans' health problems. Bronchitis and malaria are the main ones, they say. Like many people in the settled agricultural region of Bay Salad Mohamed is tired of the fighting and conflict that has swept across this part of Somalia more than once. "I hope to see a new government in Somalia soon," he says. He is concerned for the future of the children once they leave the orphanage to fend for themselves.
The main support for the Alla-Aamin orphanage comes from the Islamic Al-Iqaatha organisation, but it needs more funding. The children lack sufficient clothes and sleep on the floor in the dusty rooms - they have no beds. There is room for more children but the money to feed newcomers isn't available and funds are needed to pay more teachers at the Koranic school attached to the main compound.
The Federation is supporting the health programmes of the Somali Red Crescent - which includes community-based first aid programmes - and is working to improve the institutional development of the National Society. These activities are run in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations agencies here.