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WAHA International first intervened in Somalia in 2010 providing fistula surgery to women from Kismayo and Mogadishu. By 2011 WAHA teams started setting up a project for mother-child care in Mogadishu.

Since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, violence, the destruction of infrastructure and insecurity has greatly impeded the development of and access to basic health services for the population.   About 25% of the population has been uprooted with nearly 1.5 million people being internally displaced and another 800,000 fleeing to other countries, over half of these to Kenya. Around 400,000 internally displaced are in Mogadishu.

In July 2011 the United Nations declared famine had hit several regions in Somalia.  Drought and on-going conflict have led to an increased outpour of people fleeing within and outside the country.

Dr Maryan Qasim, Somalia’s women minister, was quoted as considering her country to be the worst place in the world for women mainly due to the high maternal mortality rates. Although estimations are difficult due to lack of records, the latest UN figures site Somalia as having one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world with one woman out of 16 dying in childbirth.

WAHA International will start intervening in the capital Mogadishu to set up a hospital for maternal and newborn care in partnership with the Emirati Red Crescent. The project includes support to several health centres and the set up of medical villages to provide nursing care to patients needing basic hospitalization. Shelterbox France, the french branch of an international charity specialising in disaster relief, donated 250 shelterbox kits and 250 tents to WAHA for the establishment of the medical villages. International Health Partners UK provided us with a donation of medicine to cover around 10,000 consultations.

Camp for displaced people in Mogadishu
In 2011 WAHA also started an intervention in Kenya, Dadaab, to provide obstetric and neonatal care to the refugee and resident population in partnership with Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World).

Since 2010 WAHA International has  been organizing air and bus transport services for fistula patients from southern Somalia and Mogadishu to Somaliland for free surgery. Treatment is provided by WAHA with Boroma Fistula Hospital and Edna Adan Maternity Hospital.

Read more about Waha and shelter box

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