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Ruqiya’s story: A mother’s life saved thanks to UNICEF’s emergency health services





When 26-year-old Ruqiya Hassan was pregnant with her fourth child, she began suffering from intense pains that were unlike anything she had experienced with her previous three pregnancies. With her condition worsening, Ruqiya, who lives with her family in a rural village in Afgooye, Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, decided to seek medical assistance.


Taking the vaccines to children in hard-to-reach communities of Zeila district

UNICEF Somalia/2018/Maureen Sitenda


It took us 12 hours to navigate the rough, mountainous terrain and desert sands on the journey from Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, to the ancient town of Zeila, capital of the district of the same name, located on Djibouti’s border. Our mission was to extend the nationwide measles vaccination campaign to Zeila district, which included numerous hard-to-reach-locations that were our priority destinations. At that time, Somaliland had registered 1,102 suspected cases of measles with anecdotal reports of serious clinical complications and even death.

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