During a decade of hopelessness and misery, Jama Osman endured night after night of painful broken sleep.
“I had no idea what I was suffering from nor the cure,” he said after undergoing a successful six-hour operation by medics with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Osman’s recovery is a credit to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the medical staff at Kismayo Level One Plus Hospital’s steadfast devotion to improving the livelihoods of local communities.
Queuing for hours outside the KDF-run medical centre in the southern Somali port of Kismayo where he had been referred by a relative, the 17-year-old was clueless about the cause of his severe pain.
“Every prescription I tried in the past before coming here failed to provide relief, and I used to endure nights of discomfort,” he said.
His struggles have since come to an end, owing to successful ear surgery, thanks to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) medics.
“I was first prescribed medication that alleviated my symptoms to some extent,” he explained. “Subsequently, I underwent a surgical procedure that significantly improved my condition.”
Diagnosed with an ear tumor, characterised by recurrent foul-smelling discharge from both ears, Osman has found solace from a condition referred to as bilateral chronic suppurative otitis media and ear cholesteatoma.
“This case was unique because the patient has been suffering for the past 10 years, and now he’s entirely recovered as we discharge him. Moreover, the kind of surgery we performed for him extremely significant,” noted Lt. Col (Dr) S.M. Onyango. “Jama can now resume his normal routine.”
Without holding back their joy, Jama’s family expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the medical personnel and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for their assistance throughout the difficult period.
“Jama has been suffering from an ear tumor for the past 10 years. We took him to many hospitals but he was not treated. Finally, a relative suggested this hospital, which proved to be a life-changing decision,” said Abdinasir Osman Ahmed, Jama’s brother.
Sector Six Commander Brig. Gen. Lukas Kutto commended the doctors for the successful operation and the significance of the medical facility in supporting the local community.
“Our Level One Plus Hospital has been performing a commendable job, not only treating ATMIS troops, UN staff, and Somali Security Forces but also extending medical assistance to the local community, as evidenced by the majority of patients being from the local population,” observed Brig. Gen. Kutto. “This effort significantly contributes to fostering a strong bond between us.”
Lt. Col. Eric Lovega, the Commanding Officer of Mechanised Infantry Battalion (MIB), reiterated Brig. Gen. Kutto’s sentiments on the benefits of the hospital to the Somali community.
“The Level One Facility in Kismayo serves as the primary medical support unit for the FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) affiliated with MIB. In addition to providing comprehensive medical and surgical services to ATMIS and Somali Security Forces, we also extend our care to the local population who seek assistance at our hospital,” he stated.
ATMIS’s commitment to providing quality healthcare has changed the lives of many residents and strengthened the link between the military and the local community.
“In the case of Osman, he showed himself to the Level One Plus hospital early this year. He had been grappling with a long-standing tumor in his left ear, which was causing him a lot of pain. We were able to precisely diagnose his ailment and undertook a complicated surgical treatment that lasted more than six hours thanks to our specialised services,” added Lt. Col. Lovega.
As ATMIS continues its mission to stabilise and support Somali Security Forces, the Level One Plus Hospital remains a beacon of hope for many residents who have difficulties accessing quality healthcare due to a myriad of problems among them a lack of specialised doctors and inadequate health facilities.
“Now I can live a normal life,” Osman exclaimed following his final hospital check-up.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).