MSF assists wounded after heavy fighting in Somalia

The international medical-humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is assisting wounded patients in the town of Galcaayo in the Mudug Region of Somalia. Heavy fighting broke out on Thursday (1/9/11) in the town, leading to many casualties including among civilians. The hospital in Galcaayo North, partly supported by MSF, has treated 60 wounded, most of them civilians, while 20 wounded have been treated so far at an MSF-run hospital in the southern part of the city. Until now, the fighting is reported to have claimed 18 lives.

“MSF is extremely concerned about the high number of civilian casualties that this round of fighting has caused,” said Rolland KAYA, MSF’s Project Coordinator. “We will continue to monitor the situation up close and provide more medical assistance if necessary.”

MSF has provided the hospital in Galcaayo North with additional surgical materials and other medical stocks needed to cater for the influx of wounded people. MSF is working in the hospital’s out-patient department, focused on providing medical care to children under 12. In July MSF opened a new in-patient paediatric department, while the organisation also provides therapeutic feeding for malnourished children. In Galcaayo South, MSF provides an extensive package of healthcare, including surgery services.   

Galcaayo is experiencing serious medical needs not only among the local population but also among the thousands of displaced people who have fled violence and drought in other parts of the country during the ongoing nutritional emergency. MSF is the main provider of free healthcare services for hundreds of kilometers around Galcaayo.

MSF has worked continuously in Somalia since 1991 and currently provides free medical care in eight regions. Over 1,400 Somali staff, supported by approximately 100 staff in Nairobi, provide free primary healthcare, surgery, treatment for malnutrition, as well as support to displaced people through health care, water supply and relief items distributions in nine locations in south and central Somalia. MSF is also providing medical care to Somali refugees in Kenya (Dagahaley and Ifo camps) and Ethiopia (Liben).