Meet Maryamo, a nurse who has been working for more than four years at a nutrition stabilization center run by International Medical Corps in Somalia’s southern region of Galkacyo, one of the districts most affected by severe drought across the Sahel. In this community with high food insecurity, Maryamo manages cases of severe acute malnutrition with medical complications and provides nutritional therapy.
“Having the opportunity to work with International Medical Corps while serving my people makes me happy,” says Maryamo. “Galkayo was one of the towns worst affected by the civil war in Somalia. I saw my people succumb to minor injuries and medical complication because there were not enough skilled nurses to provide health care. I then decided to pursue nursing so that I could help my people.”
The people of Galkacyo are pastoralists. The recurring drought often kills their animals, leaving them with little food on which to survive. Across Somalia, an estimated 301,000 children under the age of 5 years old are acutely malnourished. International Medical Corps is on the ground providing much-needed lifesaving care with funding from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
“Working with International Medical Corps has really improved my skills because I get trainings from the technical health and nutrition teams,” notes Maryamo. These trainings include case definitions and alert thresholds for key communicable diseases, as well as case management of cholera and acute watery diarrhea. Says Maryamo, “I currently serve more than 20 patients a day. I often meet mothers whose children were malnourished but have recovered, and they always thank me for the services they received from the hospital. I am happy that I have the opportunity to save lives in my community.”