A group of doctors drawn from universities and hospitals in Mogadishu have launched an initiative aimed at providing medical checkups to students in schools around the capital city of Mogadishu. CCTV’s Abdulaziz Billow reports from Somalia, a country where access to basic health care remains a major challenge.
Volunteer doctors in Mogadishu provide mobile eye tests in schoolsA group of doctors drawn from universities and hospitals in Mogadishu have launched an initiative aimed at providing medical checkups to students in schools around the capital city of Mogadishu.
They are young volunteer doctors on a mission to ensure school-going children are fit and healthy through the Somali School Health Foundation. They visit schools, conduct mobile eye clinic tests, and offer counseling to children with health conditions.
“This is a program initiated and run by young Somalis in the medical field. Our main aim under the school health foundation is to guarantee school going children are fit and healthy,” Yahya Abdirahman Shole, a doctor at Banadir Hospital, said. “This is the first school we have visited but we hope to visit many other schools in the coming days.”
Access to basic health remains a major challenge in the country and these doctors are aware of that challenge on such visits. They plan to assist especially the vulnerable, those whose parents cannot afford to pay medical bills. For serious cases, they transfer patients to some of the city’s hospitals.
“We have recorder a large number of children with low vision problem. Such cases need to be addressed immediately, because it makes the students lazy – drop out of school or leaves them partially blind on completely blind,” doctor Sagal Aden Hassan said. “It’s best if this cases are addressed early enough.”
They might not be in a position to cover the whole country and address the health challenges facing school going children, but the organizers of this initiative feel like this is a good start to ensuring Somali children remain healthy and in school.