January 26, 2021

Hospitals built without the necessary equipment fulfilled

City: Jigjiga

One of the main problems that people from the Somali Region face is the lack of proper health care services and health care facilities.

Avatar: Mohammed Hassen
By Mohammed Hassen

journalism and communications graduate and an expert in communications affairs in the region and mobile journalist at Addis Zeybe.

Hospitals built without the necessary equipment fulfilled

Last year, Maryam Osman Mustafa was travelling 14 Km on foot to get to a Health extension facility or Hospital found in Wardher Woreda town of the Somali Region. But the new administration of the region built a new hospital in the outskirts of Wardher Town recently as part of the plan to expand health coverage in the region, and people like Maryam Osman’s problem was somewhat solved. The hospital was inaugurated months ago and people from Wardher Woreda including Maryam Osman have been getting service. “I don't have to travel 14 km to get to the hospital and back again home daily,” says Maryam as the new hospital is a few meters away from her home.

Maryam is happy that the hospital has been built but she says that basic facilities are missing. “I am happy the government built the hospital but important and basic facilities like bed, enough doctors and well equipped laboratories are missing and that is very worrying" she says. 

Nuriya Mohamed Ali who is a health officer at Wardher hospital shares Maryam’s thoughts. Nuriya agrees that  basic materials are very insufficient at the hospital. She says the Woreda and Zonal Health Bureau managements have promised to fulfill materials “I hope they would do it quickly before it is too late” she adds. 

Nimco Yusuf  is a patient at the newly built hospital and she is three months pregnant. She says that the Hospital doesn't have enough staff to assist the patients that come to the facility. “How are we going to be able to get the proper treatment if there aren’t enough doctors and nurses that will assist us? If the basic facilities are not fulfilled how can one say there is a hospital in Wardher?” she asks. “Where can a mother go to give birth?” 

The officials in the Regional Health Bureau claim that integrated and immediate efforts are being done to reach all the new hospitals to equip them with the basic materials. The Zonal Health Bureau's Head, Mr Abdulahi Alinur Mohammed says that the Region together with the Ministry of Health is assembling different materials to send to all the Hospitals. “The reason why the materials were not provided on time was because of the lack of sufficient budget for the sector's materials and the lack of concern from the Ministry of Health" says Mr. Abdullahi. "We will provide all the materials quickly as soon as we get all the materials for the Faafan zone hospitals from the Ministry of Health."

Abdulahi added, "We already included 2.1 million birr on this year's budget for Warder hospital.  We are in the process of equipping the hospital as we have given the project to the Contractor."

According to the Bureau Head, the Region invested more than 298 million ETB to build new Hospitals in all the zones in the past 3 years. He says, while some of them are still in construction, others have been made to start services including the Referral Hospitals.

Given the wider geographic area of the Region and its people's pastoral way of life, Somali Region has a lower distribution of primary, secondary and tertiary Health Centers in comparison to other regions of Ethiopia. The Region has 11 Hospitals in all 11 zones, including Jigjiga Referral Hospitals, Karamara and public and private Hospitals, and several Health extensions. The number of these institutions has been increasing in the past few years throughout the zones and districts.