Breaking the Cycle: Addressing Health, Nutrition, and Education Challenges in Somalia
In the face of a severe drought in Somalia, children's health, nutrition, and education have been severely impacted.
Galkayo, October 2022: In the face of a severe drought in Somalia, children's health, nutrition, and education have been severely impacted. With increased rates of malnutrition and limited access to essential services, UNICEF is working to provide support to the most vulnerable children.
UNICEF supports Galkayo Hospital in Somalia, where dedicated medical staff are helping children to recover from malnutrition and other health complications.
Dr Bashir is just one of the many dedicated healthcare workers at Galkayo Hospital, working tirelessly to care for malnourished children and to give them a chance to recover their health.
With 1.8 million children under the age of 5 at risk of acute malnutrition and over 513,000 in need of treatment for severe wasting, the situation is dire. But with the help of facilities like Galkayo Hospital, children get the care they need to survive and recover.
Axmed Cabdi Usman is being treated in a room at Galkayo Hospital. He came with his grandmother from Wisil, about 200kms from Galkayo where he arrived very ill from malnutrition and complications. “He is recovering well,” says Dr Bashir, who follows his case daily. “We treated the swelling, which has now disappeared. We also managed malnutrition which has also improved.”
Health workers on the front line are working to keep children from getting sick and to prevent malnutrition by conducting assessments and monitoring the nutrition status of children and their mothers.
The large number of IDPs has put an additional strain on Somalia's already overburdened education system, but schools like XarXar near IDP camps are providing valuable education opportunities for children affected by the crisis.
A class in session at XarXar School. A school is a happy place for students as it provides them a moment of normalcy and structure in their lives.
Last year, UNICEF Somalia and partners reached over 130,000 children with education services that included textbooks, stationary, clean water and sanitation facilities, improved classrooms and teacher training, along with teacher incentives. This was in addition to setting up temporary learning spaces for displaced children.
Thanks to the Government of Sweden's flexible funding, children are able to find moments of joy and hope, as seen in the smiling faces of these children waiting for treatment at the SAFUK nutrition site.