Hani Mahad Gelle, a resident of Bardere in Somalia’s Gedo region, was struggling with illness for three years until receiving free medical treatment that has liberated her of excruciating pain.
“I used to feel pain in my back and my legs, but now I thank God I am relieved of the pain. I haven’t felt pain since I received the treatment,” she said.
After experiencing a miscarriage when three months pregnant in 2018, her menstruation stopped. She travelled more than 340 kilometres by road to Mogadishu last February seeking treatment, but lacking money to see a specialist, she saw a doctor at an ordinary city hospital and was told nothing was wrong.
Hani was happy to be told by the female doctor who attended to her on 17 December that she would be able to conceive again. The doctor found that her uterus was blocked and conducted an abortion to remove foetal remains.
She was among 1,433 women given free diagnosis and treatment by a group of doctors brought in by a local NGO, Fatxi-Gargaar.
Hamdi Ahmed Abdi, also from Bardere, had been ill for eight years and could not afford to seek treatment in Mogadishu as she wished, so had to endure the pain.
“You can understand the pain of a mother who suffers a miscarriage, whenever she gets pregnant. My husband would have taken me to a good hospital for treatment, but he doesn’t have a stable job,” she said.
Hamdi was diagnosed on 21 December with a uterine infection that resulted from the miscarriages she suffered. She was successfully treated.
“God has brought the doctors to us here. I have taken advantage of their free medical services and I have received treatment. I am fine now, and I am taking the medicine they gave me,” she said.
Hafso Tahlil Hussein, a gynaecologist among the team, said some of the women they saw came from remote villages. Gedo region lacks specialist gynaecologists and the nearest place women can go is Mogadishu or Baidoa, which is usually unaffordable.
All the women who were treated for free were from destitute families in Lower Juba and Gedo regions. The NGO has also provided free medical treatment for 931 children and 290 men.
The founder of Fatxi-Gargaar, Mohamed Afi, said the free treatment in Gedo was carried out by six doctors, two of whom came from abroad, over a period of 40 days.
Mohamed started Fatxi-Gargaar in memory of his wife Fatxi, a nurse who died of COVID19 in February 2021. He noted that the cost of the free medical camp was donated by his relatives and friends. (Radio Ergo spoke to Mohamed in February 2021 about the tragic loss of his wife Fatxi, read the story here).
Sources: RADIO ERGO