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Voices From the Field

Womens Health Care in Lower Shabelle

Lack of access to safe motherhood services and maternity facilities have resulted in the improvisation of essential medical tools in the field.  Today the extreme need has seen Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA’s) forced to use razorblades, filthy threads and un-sanitized equipment.

In the camps of Lower Shabelle complications of pregnancy and childbirth have become the leading cause of death, disability and deformity for women.  Today pregnant women have no access to properly trained physicians and little to no access to assisted delivery services from the local TBAs, seeing the risk of complications and pregnancy related deaths sky rocketing.  While unsafe motherhood practices in the camps continue to increase due to low nutrition, health and literacy levels.

In the Aala-Yassir camp alone information indicates, every day 5 women will fall prey to pregnancy and birthing complications, while the overall IDP health status continues to degenerate due to the lack of facilities, services and staff.

“Today our needs are met by voluntary students from Mogadishu.  They help but are untrained and have not enough equipments.” 

Further camps face issues of limited resources having seen their water supplies stretched while their nutrition and shelter needs remain unmet.  In several camps it is still reported that many IDPs continue to defecating in the open increasing the risk of epidemics/outbreaks in the area.  While according to medical volunteers on the ground morbidity in children due to communicable illness (Diarrhea, ARI, and malaria/febrile illness) and malnutrition is on the rise causing a need which is currently overwhelming mobile teams ability to respond.

When a child is born, both mother and child need care and far more than a razorblade and thread an old traditional birth attendant in Aala-yaasir IDP camp.

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