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Somalia: new clinics to serve 100,000 in Middle Juba

22-03-2011 News Release 11/67

Nairobi (ICRC) – The Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) has opened two new health clinics in the conflict and drought-affected region of Middle Juba in South Somalia, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Over 100,000 people in the districts of Sakoow and Banada will benefit, with the clinics focusing on mother and child care, including therapeutic feeding for malnourished children.

Dr Ahmed, SRCS president highlighted the vital role these clinics will play. “Around 30% of people in the area are suffering from acute malnutrition, and that’s a worryingly high figure,” he explained. “In particular, far too many children under five are dying. The drought has caused acute food shortages, leaving many families unable to provide a balanced diet for their children. These new clinics will provide the care that many of them need.”

The clinics have admitted over 100 severely malnourished children since starting work on 21 March. The ICRC has refurbished the buildings that house the clinics and will be continuing to provide support in the form of regular deliveries of medical equipment and special food for malnourished children, along with training for clinic staff. Not everyone who needs care can get to a clinic, so the ICRC has helped set up three mobile teams to treat patients in remote areas.

Somalia has been in the grip of a severe drought since October 2010, and this is having devastating effects on a population already weakened by almost two decades of armed conflict. The ICRC is providing long-term support to 36 SRCS-run clinics and 14 outpatient therapeutic feeding centres and is helping people produce their own food by providing seed, tools and training. Since the beginning of the current drought, the ICRC has distributed emergency supplies to half a million people throughout Somalia and has delivered water to almost one million.

For further information, please contact:
Yves Van Loo, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 736 084 015
Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17