It was a happy occasion at the Badbaado Maternal and Child Health (MCH) center in the Dalxiiska IDP site in Kismayo, Somalia, after the facility funded by UNFPA successfully delivered its first baby on November 27, 2022.
19-year-old Gani Osman was admitted to the MCH center after being referred by the outreach team from an IDP camp in Labasuul, Kismayo district.
Gani was grateful for the team at the 24/7 center who helped her successfully give birth to her second child. She also spoke about the lack of access to healthcare facilities in her area, where many women are forced to give birth at home using traditional methods without proper medical care especially post-delivery management.
The Badbaado MCH center was established by SOLO with support from UNFPA as part of an integrated sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence project. The facility is fitted with the necessary equipment for providing basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEMOC) and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services to women in the IDP site. Outreach teams from SOLO have also been established to refer pregnant women to the nearest facility for antenatal and postnatal care.
The average fertility rate of Somali women is reportedly high, with many families having approximately 6 children according to data on Somalia’s birth rate. However, many of these women are unable to afford the hospital costs for basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEMOC), which means that they are more likely to give birth at home without access to proper medical care.
This lack of access to quality maternal healthcare has serious consequences which often result in complications and poor outcomes for both the mother and baby. This is particularly true in internally displaced person (IDP) camps, where poverty levels are extremely high and access to healthcare is limited.
However, the establishment of the Badbaado BEmOC and SRH center has provided a safe and affordable alternative for pregnant women in the community. The facility offers free services for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. It is equipped with skilled mid-wives and medical equipment to handle complications and provide quality care says, Fatuma Abdirahman SOLO Programme Coordinator Health and Nutrition.
Women like Gani have benefited greatly from the services provided by the Badbaado MCH center. She was able to receive the care she needed for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and was grateful for the assistance provided by the SOLO field team in informing her about the facility. She also emphasized the importance of using correct childbirth procedures in hospitals, and pledged to be a voice for local women in advocating for access to quality healthcare.
The UNFPA-supported Badbaado center is making a positive difference in the lives of pregnant women and their families in Kismayo, Somalia. By providing accessible and free services, the facility is helping to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the area and improving the health and well-being of the community.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNFPA Somalia.