Relief SCENE:Refugees
Rains Worsen Health Situation in Dhobley
15 Dead From Cholera, Malaria in Last Weeks
A UN tent overwhelmed by rain
©Somalia Report
A UN tent overwhelmed by rain

At least 15 people, mostly children have died and 30 others were admitted to local hospitals due to cholera and malaria in Dhobley District, health officers said.

The patients were admitted in to local hospitals as the general hospital of the district was damaged and closed due to the battles between militant Islamist group al-Shabaab and Transitional Federal Government forces alongside the Ras Kamboni fighters in the district.

Mukhtar Mohamud Abdirashiid, a local health officer in the district, told Somalia Report that the people who died during last three days were affected by cholera and malaria disorders.

“Most of the affected people were children brought in from the surroundings and the countryside between Dhobley and Afmadow Districts,” he said.

He added that the health situation in the district is getting worse due to the enormous number of patients who have been reaching the local hospitals in the district.

Abdirashid stated that the heavy rains in the region have worsened the spread of cholera and malaria as most of the internally displaced people drink contaminated water from puddles and are not able to buy medicines from the local hospitals in the district.

Many malnourished children are at risk of serious complications from diarrhea or cholera, according to Rukiya Abdurahman a general practitioner who used to work at Dhobley General Hospital.

She said the cost of living for IDPs is very high in the district and mothers cannot get enough food and medicine for their children.

The rains have blocked roads across to Dhobley and other towns, hampering deliveries of supplies and sending prices soaring.

The cost of sugar, rice and pasta are three times as much as they were before the heavy rain and the fighting.

“The situation is very dangerous, the people don’t have animals since they were killed by drought and now the heavy rain, plus the fighting, closed all the roads leading in and outside of the town,” Abdulle Nurow, a businessman in Dhobley, told Somalia Report.

These is how the price of food changed after the blocking of roads.

Sugar, 1KG: From 100 to 300, Kenyan shillings

Rice, 1KG: From 90 to 350 Kenyan shillings

Flour, 1KG: From 40 to 250 Kenyan shillings

Oil, 1 Liter: From 60 to 200 Kenyan shillings

Abdirahman argued that the Somali government, donor countries and humanitarian agencies have failed to remember the impoverished displaced people in Dhobley district, and urged health agencies to stand up for the affected women and children in the district.

In Luq district, Afgoye and Bay region, at least 26 internally displaced were reported to have died from disease outbreaks, medical officials said.

Also the Somali refugees in the Dadaab complex in north-east Kenya have lost more than 10 people due to the same diseases. Health officers from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in the Hagadera and Ifo refugee camps told Somalia Report they had lost six people in Hagadera and five in Ifo. Local hospitals are struggling to cope with the spate of illnesses, local health workers said.

Many aid agencies have scaled back operations in Dadaab since the kidnap of two Spanish aid workers, an incident that proved the spark for Kenya to launch military operations in Somalia.