Burundian soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Saturday donated medical supplies to HirShabelle state, to help improve access to medical care by local communities and mitigate hardships brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officers from the Burundi National Defense Forces (BNDF) handed over cartons of the medical supplies to HirShabelle authorities, led by the state Minister for Women and Human Rights, Sa’adiya Mohamed Nur, in a ceremony held at Jowhar airport.
AMISOM Sector 5 Chief Medical Officer, Captain Doctor Dionys Zabagenzi, explained that the donation is intended to benefit the local communities, after AMISOM instituted a lockdown on its bases as part of its COVID-19 protocols, to stem the spread of the virus. Due to the lockdown, local communities are not able to access AMISOM bases for medical assistance.
“As you know the whole world is facing a big pandemic of coronavirus and we decided to give some drugs to the local population to support the health system of HirShabelle state, so they can treat our Somali brothers and sisters,” Capt. Zabagenzi stated. The donated items were sourced from Saudi Arabia and Burundi.
Ms. Sa’adiya noted that the donation was in response to a request by HirShabelle state to AMISOM following an appeal by members of local communities in Jowhar and Mahaday, who used to access medical support in AMISOM camps.
“Due to Corona, AMISOM instituted a lockdown and people were not able to access the camps for medical support. Since AMISOM at the moment cannot reach those areas due to the lockdown, we convinced AMISOM to handover the drugs to us so that we deliver them to the communities and they (AMISOM) accepted. We will deliver the medical supplies to local people through the MCHs run by the local doctors who will deliver similar services provided by AMISOM.” Ms. Sa’adiya explained.
Doctor Sharif Mohamud Ali, a local health worker in Jowhar lauded AMISOM for the support, and pledged to ensure that the supplies reach the intended beneficiaries, particularly, vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 and recurrent floods.
“We thank AMISOM for handing over a medical support meant for the poor families in the Middle Shabelle region especially Jowhar district. We will make sure that we deliver the supplies to poor people as soon as possible,” Dr. Sharif said.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Mission in Somalia.