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Monday, March 30, 2015

Somaliland‬ : The decay in the health sector

(Medeshi)- The current structure of Hargeisa general hospital clearly shows the appalling state of disrepair of its facilities.

Hargeisa hospital emergency unit ( Photo : Credit of Mahdi Sheekh)

This is a typical situation at the emergency unit of Hargeisa Group Hospital. The unit, as can be seen here,  is filthy and not good for purpose. It is manned by 2 persons at night regardless of the number of patients.
This hospital was established in 1953 by the British during the colonial era to serve a population of 30,000 compared to the current 2 million inhabitants in the capital. Very little improvement has been done since the Colonial times.
Hargeisa hospital emergency unit ( Photo : Credit of Mahdi Sheekh)

Erigavo Hospital : 

The hospital in Erigavo , the capital of Sanaag,  was built in the early 1950s by the British rulers. Since then little has changed other than its continual degradation by time and climate.

It has few qualified doctors and no  specialists. It has dysfunctional  units  and no medical equipment that could have saved many that die daily due to lack of proper health care. Erigavo hospital is the main regional hospital/ referral centre and only hospital for  all the districts of Sanaag region and surrounding areas. The hospital has no proper ambulance , no dispensary or hospital pharmacy.
But the the hospital has following units :
Maternity ward
Children’s ward
Female ward
Male ward
And Tuberculosis (TB) ward . None of the above units are functioning with the exception of the tuberculosis ward which has inpatients.
Erigavo Hospital - web image
Erigavo has one of the highest maternal death rates in the country according to the 2011 statics in Somaliland. The nearest hospital where treatment for maternity cases could be dealt with is Edna Hospital in Hargeisa which is more than 400 kilometers away. The distance and lack of roads infrastructure does not allow any emergency cases to be referred to Hargeisa. The rough road between Erigavo and Burao takes 12 hours to travel.

Berbera Hospital :
The Torch wrote : "Outside the port City of Berbera on the North lies a large modern building complex in total ruins. This deplorable site is Berbera Hospital.
Berbera Hospital 

Built by the Soviet Union in the 1970s as a military hospital providing healthcare to the Soviet military personal stationed in the Central Command base in Berbera as well as the Somali Army at the time, this medical facility was indeed one of the best equipped and technologically most advanced healthcare provisions in the country, benefited both by civilian and the military.
The current structure of the Hospital clearly shows the appalling state of disrepair , which is a manifestation to the fact that the people living in Berbera have no access to appropriate healthcare and must travel to other cities such as Hargeisa, 170 km west in order to receive even the most basic medical treatments they require."

Most other hospitals in different cities of the country are worst than these three named hospitals.

Somaliland has spent much aid money in the construction of beautiful buildings for ministries and public facilities such as airports. Yet the health sector which is among the most basic necessities  for livelihood of its citizens is neglected.