Over the past four decades, our teams have responded to recurring humanitarian and health emergencies caused by conflict, climate-related events such as widespread flooding and recurring droughts, as well as outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, measles, and COVID-19.
Today, we continue to work in hospitals in Somalia and Somaliland, providing obstetric and paediatric care, in- and out-patient nutritional support, emergency services, and tuberculosis. Our teams also run mobile clinics providing basic healthcare in camps for internally displaced people and host communities.
We carry out vaccination campaigns and respond to nutritional crises where feasible. MSF also provides resources to conduct ‘eye camps’, which reach thousands of people with eye diseases.
A major part of our work involves specialised training for healthcare staff and capacity building, along with rehabilitating hospitals and expanding and improving the state of water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Our activities in Somalia in 2021
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.
These adverse events have caused mass displacements and had a severe impact on access to food, water and healthcare. In 2021, 5.9 million people in Somalia and Somaliland needed humanitarian assistance, 2.9 million people were displaced, mainly due to conflict and climate-related disasters, and 3.5 million people were considered food insecure.* In addition, rates of deaths during pregnancy, childbirth and childhood are ranked among the highest in the world. Diseases such as measles and diarrhoea are the leading causes of death in children.
Throughout the year, our teams ran medical services in hospitals in towns and cities, focusing on maternal, paediatric and emergency care, nutritional support, COVID-19 and diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug-resistant TB. We also ran mobile clinics to remote areas to deliver care to people living in displacement camps and the surrounding communities.
Measles, highly contagious, vaccine-preventable and – for children – often deadly, remained prevalent in the country, with outbreaks hitting several regions in 2021. In Lower Juba, Southwest state and Mudug region in Galmudug state, MSF teams supported the Ministry of Health with measles vaccination campaigns, treatment and health education sessions.
After the third consecutive season of poor rainfalls and resulting drought conditions, we responded to an acute malnutrition emergency in Jubaland during the 'hunger gap' or lean season between harvests. Teams carried out active surveillance and screening and provided nutritional treatment and medical care to children under five.
We partnered with a local medical organisation to run ‘eye camps’ in Jubaland and Southwest state, conducting screening and surgical interventions for common eye conditions that cause blindness if left untreated.
*UNOCHA, Somalia situation report.