Somalia: Madina hospital receives Mogadishu’s war casualties

  • Dr. Abdikadir Haji Maalim, a surgeon at Madina hospital in the operating theatre attending to a weapon-wounded patient. Madina hospital sees most of the casualties of car bombs, shoot-outs, grenade attacks and suicide bombs that happen in Somalia’s restive capital.
    ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed
  • Surgical care is an essential part of the treatment regimen for trauma patients and Madina hospital boasts the capacity to conduct four simultaneous surgeries. The highest in the country. However, this number has been tested in the past. In 2017, nearly 600 people were killed and hundreds were wounded when a truck filled with explosives was detonated at one of the busiest intersections in the city. Madina hospital was stretched way beyond its limits.
    ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed
  • Salah Mohamed, a mechanic in the city, was a victim in the 25th September car bomb explosion that detonated in El-Gab junction in Mogadishu. “There was smoke. I was confused and went into the fire but then turned away. I stepped out and the smoke hit my face. I escaped towards the Peace Garden.” the 29-year-old recalls. His face, arms and legs covered in burns.
    ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed
  • Noordin Ali Isaac, 24, was among the wounded in the explosion that happened on 25th September. Shrapnel hit the lower part of his left foot, but he is expected to make a full recovery. He considers himself lucky after what he saw befell others injured in the blast. A lot of questions have been running through his mind since the incident. “What brought you here? Why are you in this country with all the killings and difficulties? Why are you still here? Why didn’t you leave earlier?”.
    ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed
  • Madina Hospital pharmacy. The hospital is one of four supported by the ICRC in Somalia. Running costs such as salaries, medical supplies, maintenance work and electricity are covered by the organization.
    ICRC/Abdikarim Mohamed
14 October 2021

Madina is Somalia's de facto war hospital and over the years it has become somewhat a barometer for Mogadishu's insecurity. In a year marked with simmering tensions due to the ongoing polls and Somalia's fractious government, the hospital's whiteboard of numbers serves as a bulletin board of emergencies.


Hospital staff still remember what marks four years since a huge bomb blast in the heart of the capital took the lives of hundreds.


"October 14, 2017 was a sad day. We can say it was the most difficult day and we couldn't cope with the number of patients. There were that many patients. About 50 to 80 patients received stomach surgeries with others receiving vascular surgeries. There were also a number of amputations. It was a tough day. It wasn't only just one day. We had to attend to the very serious patients first and delay the rest to the next day. It took us three to four days to get to all patients attended to." recalls Dr. Abdikadir Haji Maalim, a surgeon at the hospital.


Madina Hospital is one of the four hospitals that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supports in Somalia. Keysaney Hospital, also in the capital, Bay Regional Hospital in Baidoa and Kismayo General Hospital in the southern region of Lower Juba are the other three. Combined, they have treated 231 weapon-wounded patients as of June this year. More than half of these cases were attended to in Madina.