Closing Keeysaneey Hospital: Symptom of a deeper hostility
Government’s plans to close down the only functioning hospital in Northern Banadir and Middle Shabelle region is facing stiff resistance from broad spectrum of society. Civil Society and members of Somalia’s Parliament have requested the government to reconsider its decision. The Keeysaneey Hospital was originally built as a correctional facility by Somalia’s former military regime. On February 2nd 1992, following the outbreak of the Somali civil war, community elders in conjunction with the International Red Cross Society transformed the decaying building into a functioning hospital. The Ministry of Justice now wants to turn the hospital into a prison.
The Somali Civil War has exposed the dire need for a health facility in Somalia’s Northern Banadir and Middle Shabelle regions. Keeysaneey Hospital was borne out of the need to provide emergency medical services to the people in Northern Banadir and Middle Shabelle. Since its inception, the hospital has treated thousands of patients and provided medical service to a region of more than 1 million residents. According to available statistics, more than 50,000 patients have been treated at the hospital each month since its inauguration.
The decision to close Mogadishu’s Keeysaneey Hospital which was taken by Somalia’s former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir is part of Farah’s open hostility to the people of Banadir and Middle Shabelle Regions. Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir’s decision to close the Keeysaneey Hospital is also a symptom of a much deeper problem. As the architect of Somalia’s Federal configuration, Farah has used his position of immense influence to undermine the demographic and democratic rights of the people of Banadir, Middle Shabelle and Eastern Galgaduud and Mudug regions in Ceeldheere and Haradheere. As a result of Farah’s machinations, the Mudulood clans of these regions will be Balkanized to fit regional geostrategic agendas. As one of the masterminds to deny Banadir, a region home to more than 2.5 million people and Somalia’s most populous; a role in the federal process, Farah has ensured that the people of these regions, despite their overwhelming demographic and economic advantages, will be weakened for generations to come.
According to the latest figures by the World Health Organization, Somalia faces one of the worst health indicators in the world with only 30% of the population having access to health services. Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir’s decision to close the only functioning hospital that serves more than a million residents is not only staggering, but taken with the other decisions made by him at the detriment of the people of the affected region, it is a symptom of a much deeper hostility.
By Mustafa Yusuf
Concerned resident of Banadir