CERF funds help IOM to provide emergency primary healthcare in Puntland and Somaliland
Mary-Sanyu Osire

CERF funds help IOM to provide emergency primary healthcare in Puntland and Somaliland


Nimco’s two-year old son was suffering from acute watery diarrhea for two days, when she brought him to a mobile clinic in Lafta-Faraweyne village, in Somaliland’s Marodijex region.  Upon arrival at the clinic Nimco was pale and visibly worried. “There was an outbreak of diarrhea in our village affecting at least 14 children and one of them died because of it yesterday. Last night, I didn’t sleep at all since my child was having non-stop diarrhea and vomiting. I was worried he will die just like the other child who died yesterday”, she explained to the clinic staff. Nimco and her son saw the doctor who immediately provided intravenous fluid when he noticed the child’s severe dehydration.

After two hours of treatment the child gained energy and was able to speak. Nimco smiled as she explained: “My child is able to speak to me for the first time since the last 8 hours which means he is getting better. Now I am confident that my child will survive unlike the child who died because of diarrhea. Thanks to IOM and the Ministry of Health for sending this team. I wish we could have such a team to stay in our village permanently.”

Nimco Arab is one of the many beneficiaries of the mobile health clinic that visited several villages in the Marodijex region.  Lafta-Faraweyne village, which lacks a healthcare center, was hard hit by the drought which exacerbated health concerns such as water related illnesses and malnutrition. A temporary clinic was set up by the project team in an accessible location for village residents, next to an empty school. All villagers in need were provided with access to a doctor or a midwife, who listened to their complaints, examined their conditions, provided them with consultations and medications if necessary.

CERF funds help IOM to provide emergency primary healthcare in Puntland and Somaliland
IOM distributes nutritional supplements, including iron tablets, to help improve the prospects for starving children.

The medical team stayed for one more day, providing medical treatment to over one hundred patients with different medical conditions including diarrhea and acute respiratory diseases. On the next day, the team gathered the community members and elders of the village to give them a health education session which included information on the prevention and treatment of diarrhea such as how to prepare and use Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS). In addition, the team distributed ORS and ‘Shuban Daweeye’, a local zinc tablet brand used for the treatment of diarrhea.

The mobile clinic in Lafta-Faraweyne village was part of IOM’s  efforts to provide life-saving primary healthcare services to the drought affected populations in Somaliland and Puntland. The project was implemented through funds from CERF’s Rapid Response window targeting people affected by El Niño induced drought in Northern Somalia. Between April and October 2016, the project improved access to lifesaving emergency healthcare and provided treatment to more than 47,000 patients in Puntland and Somalia.

CERF has been one of the quickest and largest supporters of early humanitarian action in response to the El Niño phenomenon. Over the past two years, CERF has allocated US$118 million to 19 countries for life-saving activities in response to drought, floods and cyclones linked to El Niño.  Click here to read more about CERF-funded response to El Niño