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Global Healthbeat: Somalia, Country of War


We received an email from a reader in Somalia: "Can you help me. Somalia is a country of war."
War is the ultimate public health crisis, and Somalia, that beautiful strip on the coast of East Africa, home to ancient mariners, frankincense and myrrh has been paying far too long.

Somalia facts:
  • Somalia has been without an effective central government for 16 years
  • Warlord fighting, famine and disease have left 1 million dead - that is 10% of the population
  • Life expectancy: 45 years
  • Since April, 2007 the capital Mogadishu has been barraged by fighting between government forces and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)
  • The bloody struggle has resulted in yet another mass migration of the internally displaced. Access is limited, reporting is spotty, electricity is unreliable, but our understanding is that 400,000 are displaced. War crimes against civilians are reported by the UN.
    • we understand they are without food, water, shelter and need IMMEDIATE humanitarian relief
    • human rights abuses against women and children are rampant
  • Somalia is now the world's most dangerous place for Minority groups.
WHAT can we, the international community do to help? Those close to the situation have these suggestions: Mobilize media, NGO and government interest to get food, education and jobs. More pressing survival concerns of water, sanitation, shelter and protection exist. The problems of security and access continue.

Healthline readers - let's help our friends in Somalia. Let's call, write letters, post YouTube videos bringing attention to perhaps the most dangerous place on earth. Who knows what our reader had to go to just to write to us. Let us do whatever we can to extend our hands back...

Thank you, Abdurahman for use of photo Welcome - Have a Deer.
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