“I have been in Somaliland for two years now. I went as a refugee to Finland and was trained as a nurse there.
The drought situation here is bad. The drought can be seen everywhere in western Somaliland. In one day we treated more than 500 people in the village of Ikaweyne. Many of them had bloody diarrhoea. Others were anaemic or malnourished, especially the children.
I am working for the Drought Outreach Response of the MIDA FINNSOM Health-project: it brings diaspora experts to their country of origin. Local health care professionals and us from the diaspora can work together.
Twice a week we go to the villages where people fleeing the drought have gathered.
Many of the patients also had respiratory infections, coughs, fevers and eye infections. The sand is blowing all the time there. If you stand still for ten minutes, you will be covered.
That day in Ikaweyne we had local nursing students with us. There were almost a hundred of us, but still we felt that we couldn’t do enough. The medicines ran out before we were done. There was so much to do, but we couldn’t help them all.
Some of the people are so weak that they can’t walk to the nearest hospital 10 kilometre away, even if they need urgent care.
There is always an ambulance with us when we go, and we always need it. From Ikaweyne we sent four people to the hospital with the ambulance. One had meningitis, one was a pregnant woman and two were children.
In the hospital there is not enough of anything, not of staff nor of medicines, but the worst is that there is a shortage of electricity. How can you do a surgery if there is no light?
There are no trees and no grass, only sand. The cattle are getting thinner and are desperately trying to find something to eat. There are dead animals along the side of the road. One day, I saw a cow eating another animal – that is something I have never seen before.”