China-trained doctors keep hope alive in Somalia hospital

MOGADISHU, March 11 — The Pediatric Department at Banadir Hospital in Somalia has a strong affinity to millions of citizens in the Horn of Africa nation.

The Chinese-funded pediatric unit at the hospital has revolutionized infant health in Somalia since its establishment four decades ago.

Currently, the unit is manned by 40 volunteer nurses and doctors who attend to thousands of children with diverse ailments like pneumonia, cholera and measles.

Beijing sponsored training for medical workers in the hospital to enhance their capacity to respond to childhood illnesses.

“The training of medical workers in China has enhanced service delivery in this hospital. We thank the Chinese government for the scholarship granted to our staff,” said Bashir Hussein, the deputy head of the pediatric unit.

Mohamed Muqtar, a beneficiary of the scholarship based at the hospital’s emergency department, said his stay in China was a game changer.

“After my study in China for six years, I returned two years ago to my home country and was posted at Banadir hospital. Though I work on volunteer basis, I am happy to put my skills into good use to help my people,” said Muqtar.

Umaraqiya Amed, the mother of a young daughter recuperating at the hospital hailed professionalism and dedication among the healthcare providers.

“My daughter has been admitted in this hospital for the last seven days and has improved drastically. Even though the hospital does not have enough medicine, the doctors refer me to chemists in the city where quality drugs are sold,” said Umaraqiya.

However, Hussein noted that urgent assistance is now needed to restore a national treasure whose contribution to infant healthcare in Somalia is profound, adding that external support to Banadir Hospital’s pediatric wing has declined lately.

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