Somali Diaspora Help Nation to Fend Off Famine
Ahmed is a Somali diaspora medical nurse from Finland, currently working in Somaliland. For him, his hometown is just as much in Finland as it is in Somalia, as he grew up and did his studies in Helsinki. Originally planning to be a civil engineer, his career path took a different turn when he decided that he wanted to be able to directly help people.
“In a way, it felt like I had a calling to be a nurse. I really couldn’t describe it any other way,” he explains. The transition was not easy but he was more than glad once he started working as a nurse.
Children recover alongside their mothers at the cholera treatment center in Kismayo, Somalia. During a drought, cholera is one of the diseases often found among those who are severely malnourished. In addition to providing medical staff, IOM also provides a cold chain storage to maintain essential supplies for the Kismayo hospital. Photo: IOM / Muse Mohammed
“An interesting thing to adapt to, was overcoming the notions that some may hold regarding male nurses working in a female-dominated industry. Luckily, my family has always been supportive and in the eyes of the people in need here, I am just as good as any doctor to them.”
Through a special project support by IOM, Ahmed has been able to work in remote villages providing medical help to those affected by the drought. In the case of Bali Hiile where he is visiting, the nearest doctor is over 50km away. As the days go on with no substantial rainfall, Ahmed has a very different worry in mind.
“You want to know what the worst thing is? It is not just the fact that it is not raining, but the fact that when it does eventually rain, all of that rainwater is just going to run across the land picking up diseases from all of the dead animals and then feed into their water supplies. That is when more diseases will come.”
Ahmed is a Somali medical nurse from Finland working in Somaliland. Part of the diaspora, for him, his hometown is just as much in Finland as it would be in Somalia as he grew up and did his studies in Helsinki. Photo: IOM / Muse Mohammed