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How COVID-19 Brought the Front Line Home

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From Grief to Safe Motherhood in Somalia

Earlier this year, Hawalul, a mother of five, rested her hands on her swollen belly, feeling the gentle movements of a new life growing inside her. Then she took a deep breath, swallowed her fear and walked purposefully into a health center in Mogadishu for her midwife appointment. Her apprehension was understandable. Six years ago, …

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Providing a Safe Haven for Vulnerable Women and Girls in Somalia

Decades of protracted conflict and other emergency situations in Somalia, such as drought and floods, have led to displacement of an estimated at 2.6 million people, and increased the number of vulnerable women and girls. Breakdown of family and social protection networks and social/cultural norms, as well as gender inequality, have exacerbated the situation, limiting …

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Preventing Acute Malnutrition in Somalia’s IDP Camps

For 30-year-old Fadumo Hassan Jim’ale, the pain and disappointment that comes with losing a child is too familiar. Last year, the young mother lost her unborn baby during labor. After the loss of her child, Fadumo—who lives with her husband at Midnimo IDP Camp in Galkayo, Somalia—became more determined to take good care of her …

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Menstrual Health and Hygiene: Girls Speak

Though on May 28 of every year the world comes together to recognize Menstrual Hygiene Day, menstruation still remains a taboo subject in some parts of the world. In Somalia, most women are aware that menstruation is a normal process, but the topic is rarely openly discussed. In addition, a lack of education, sanitation infrastructure …

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Immunizations: Building Blocks for a Better Tomorrow

32-year-old Fadumo Mohamed is from Lower Shabelle, a region in southern Somalia, not far from the capital Mogadishu. Named after the river that farming communities have relied on for centuries, the area is a microcosm for the multi-layered crisis that has been battering Somalia and its people since the 1990s. The situation in Lower Shabelle …

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Nurto and Hakumo: Two Women Defying the Odds in Somalia

Nurto from Baidoa in Somalia is only 30 years old—but already on the verge of giving up. Conflict has driven her from her home, she is in pain and her father’s death is weighing heavily on her. She will get through this, but she doesn’t know that yet. Meanwhile, 28-year-old Hakumo, whose childhood in southwestern …

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A Lifesaving Drug for Mothers in Somalia

It’s not easy being a woman in Somalia. Life is shaped by overwhelming challenges beyond her control: severe drought, depleted crops, protracted conflict, toxic gender norms, inadequate education for girls and much more. Risking her life in childbirth should not be one more worry on that list—which is why we’re working to expand lifesaving maternal …

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Assisting Somalia’s Communities

Unpredictable rainfall patterns across Somalia often result in drought and floods, leaving the population without access to safe drinking water. A quarter-century of war and conflict has left Somalia’s pre-war water infrastructure and once-expansive irrigation and canal systems in disrepair. With only two perennial rivers, Somalia’s agricultural riverine communities are increasingly affected by extremes of …

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Celebrating International Women’s Day in Somalia

To commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, International Medical Corps held awareness events in Mogadishu, as well as the Jowhar, Galkayo South, Abduwaq and Baidoa districts of Somalia, where our teams engaged community members to address some of the challenges faced by women and to help identify possible solutions. Issues discussed across the five …

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