Thirty people, mainly children and elderly persons, are currently being treated for acute watery diarrhea in Ba’aadweyne town, 198 kms from Galkayo, according to local medical officers. The diarrhoea cases have increased during January. Most patients come from villages in remote rural areas that do not have healthcare centres, including Shabeelow, Ga’amey and Qad’ad. Yonis Abshir, a medical officer at the hospital in Ba’aadweyne, told Radio Ergo the outbreak was probably caused by poor drinking water hygiene.
“Wells with very small amounts of water are not being covered even though they are dug in low-lying places, so dirt and animal excrement gets inside. That is the only water people can find to drink,” Abshir said. Secretary of the administration of Ba’aadweyne, Mohamed Said Ahmed, said seven children had died of diarrhea in January. He said his wife and four of his children in Ga’amey village had also fallen sick and were treated.
Ugaaso Isman Kaahiye was interviewed by Radio Ergo’s local reporter in the hospital, where she was happy to see her two children responding well to treatment after being sick with diarrhea for 10 days. The hospital is small and not well equipped. Yonis said they struggled to cover the medical needs in the large area with the resources available. The secretary of the local administration said aid agencies needed to give more support to the area especially in the villages not served by any health care facilities.