Physicians Across Continents has been established in Somalia since 2011, by providing primary and secondary health care services in Benadir Hospital which is the largest mother and child hospital in Somalia.
Since then we’ve gone on to expand our work across the country, working alongside Governmental, International Organisations and NGOs to improve coverage of health services, strengthen health systems, and provide medical equipment support across Somalia.
Community engagement conducted by our outreach teams are an integral part of serving local communities which has led to increased numbers of patients attending our health facilities. This includes preventative and health promotion activities such as screening, immunisation and sensitisation. Last year a total of 42,631 patients received treatment and consultations as a result of our outreach work.
In the last quarter of 2017, over 4,000 households (over 24,000 individuals) have been evicted from their makeshift settlements. Physicians Across Continents brought the emergency needs of the evictees to the attention of the cluster groups and other stakeholders, ensuring proper sharing information and delivering humanitarian aid on time. PAC provided MISP referral, supplementary drugs and health education and also increased the number of mobile clinic teams to save the lives of these marginalized people.
Immunizations for mothers and children have been actively implemented throughout Daynile District, Physicians Across Continents providing all types of vaccines in its health facilities. The immunisations campaign targeted children of different ages, from 0-2 years old, during the period of January to December 2017. This was our largest and the most successful prevention campaign ever undertaken in Daynile district; which was preceded by many awareness sessions done on EPI among the communities residing in the district.
Sensitisation for People Living with HIV/AIDS
The sensitisation targeted 268 beneficiaries, including PLWHs and their relatives, which will enable more HIV positive patients access services. PAC aims that this service will continue to target more PLWHs in the future, who will benefit from the treatment, counselling and to promote client self-management.
Voluntary Counselling and Testing
1169 individuals (men and women) have been voluntarily tested and received counselling. PAC enhanced coordination with stakeholders involved in HIV programs, including other NGOs working in HIV sector in both Mogadishu & Kismayo. This facilitated improvements in the patient referral mechanism, as well as enabled PAC to initiate advocacy meetings with the Jubaland local authorities to increase the level of community awareness of the program.
Our 5th Obstetric Fistula Campaign took place last year, 2017, where we treated 113 patients with the fistula repair surgery.
This campaign aimed to expand the provision of continuous, high-quality fistula care in Mogadishu, giving hope and dignity to the many women suffering from obstetric fistula all over Somalia. PAC is proud to continue to be at the forefront of the campaign to #EndFistula.
Of the 113 patients, 8 were under the age of 18 and 33 of the women were divorced as a result of the effects of obstetric fistula and its complications. The patients were from several regions across the country and PAC funded the transportation and accommodation of the women coming from outside Mogadishu for the entire duration of their treatment.
It’s devastating to note that 22% of the patients lived through the ordeal of the condition for more than 6 years without any medical intervention. PAC managed to relieve the suffering of these poor mothers and provided them with the opportunity to start a new life with dignity.
This year we want to reach more as we continue to expand our Obstetric Fistula Campaign and train local staff while treating 1,000 women across 5 countries including Somalia.
Follow Ayaan Baudouin as she travels back to her birthplace in Somalia alongside Physicians Across Continents and discovers that for some childbirth can feel like the end of a life rather than the beginning of a new one.
An insight into her own personal journey and the journey of many women suffering from Obstetric Fistula.
“What man wants a sick woman? I am leaking urine and sick all the time.
Even sitting down is painful for me. His parents told him to leave me and he didn’t argue, he felt the same”
– Katuma (16)
“No-one helped me. My child passed away and as soon as he (my husband) saw the problem, he divorced me – straight after the birth.
I have been in pain and alone now for 2 years.”
– Shukri (27)
Living with fistula was extremely difficult for Fadumo, who had been divorced and abandoned by family and friends.
“I have not been able to take part in any public gatherings or events like weddings in the last 13 years”.
– Fadumo Mohammed (40)