Acknowledging IOM Humanitarian Worker Mohamed Yussuf Dahir
By Joseph Kabiru
Mohamed Yussuf Dahir is an IOM Medical Nurse stationed in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya’s north eastern province. Mohamed undertakes his duties with so much enthusiasm – like a prize bull fighting in an arena. His strong character, sheer hard work and sense of duty will impress anyone. He was in his true element at the height of the Horn of Africa Drought Crisis in 2011 when he attended to thousands of sick Somali refugees seeking refuge in Kenya.
“It was a sight like I had never seen [before]. Armed with my medical kit, I zealously attended to the sick, under the gaze of the tormenting and unforgiving sun. The refugees had travelled for long distances without food and water. We were their first contact at IOM when they arrived in Kenya.”
"Assisting a pregnant woman deliver after I found her in anguish as she was experiencing labour pains under a tree at the Liboi border point was one of my proudest moment as a humanitarian aid worker. Her three children, not knowing what to do, were trying to make her calm down." Together with his colleagues, Mohamed helped the woman reach Liboi health centre where she delivered her baby.
Low moments are part of the job when one works as a humanitarian. For Mohamed, that moment came when he heard the story of a Somali mother of six. "A mother narrated to me how on the way to the border point, she had to abandon one of her sick daughters to die along the roadside. She was confronted with the decision whether she should nurse her and later die of hunger... or leave the child and save the rest of the family. The traumatized mother chose the latter. The story left me devastated for days," said Mohamed.
“The crisis strengthened my character. This enabled me to stay focused and work on, despite the great suffering I was witnessing all around me. I did not do it just because it's my job. I did it because I knew I was serving mankind. And I would do it again.”