If you get sick, what is your fist instinct? You want to feel better right away! But the ability to reach health services and medicines is not always easy for Somali families and internally displaced persons living in Dhobley town, Afmadhow district.  

With funding from the German government, IOM has opened a health centre in Dhobley town and its surrounding area for IDPs and community members. The public health centre was closed for more than six years, and once more it is providing critically needed primary health care services such as antenatal care, immunization and treatment of childhood illnesses. In addition outreach teams that serve far settlements use the centre as base where they can replenish medical supplies. 

Zainab Nurie is a grandmother who lives in Waberi settlement with her three grandchildren and today she visited the Dhobley health facility to receive services. The children were treated for respiratory conditions and she was provided with a pack of medicine. She was simply overjoyed, not just at the ability to receive free services close to home but because she received free medicine. “I used to go to the main hospital which is far or sometimes to private clinics to get health services but since the MCH was re-opened we felt a sign of relief.” 

“I don’t need to walk long distance to access services and I have also saved money that I used to spend on medicines at private clinics. We are grateful to IOM for operationalizing this health center that was closed for many years,” explains Zainab. 

Although Zainab is no longer within the reproductive age group she noted the significant benefit of the centre as services are comprehensive and provided under one roof. “Since the facility was opened, everybody is benefiting; pregnant women, children and everyone who is sick is getting free medicines. Our children are also getting vaccinated easily.”