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Somalia: Local community takes up new challenge


The Medina Hospital, once the largest in Somalia, reopened in southern Mogadishu on 28 May after standing idle for nearly eight years.

It had been known as the Police Hospital before the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991.

Previous attempts to put the facility back into operation have failed. Last year, however, local doctors asked the ICRC to do a feasibility study on its future.

As a result, the ICRC decided to repair the buildings and is now supporting the 55-bed surgical ward for the treatment of war-wounded people.

But it is the local community that is responsible for actually running the hospital.

The administrators are appointed by community leaders and draw up the budget and conduct fundraising.

ICRC is merely one of the donors and advises on training and budget planning. Local leaders are also in charge of maintaining security around the buildings.

Some of the staff of the new hospital have been trained at the Keysane Hospital, in Mogadishu North, which was set up in the wake of heavy factional fighting in 1992 and is currently being run by the Somali Red Crescent Society and fully supported by the ICRC.

It remains the main surgical referral facility in southern Somalia.


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