A new operating theatre has opened at Keysaney hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia to treat casualties of the conflict that has wracked the country for the past 20 years. The hospital is one of two main referral facilities in Somalia able to treat complex war wounds and serving all south central Somalia.
The operating theatre, officially inaugurated in February 2012, separates patients with septic and non-septic wounds, resulting in significantly fewer cross-infections. "We now have theatre A and theatre B", says Dr Ahmed, head surgeon at the hospital. "Theatre A is for the non-septic wounded and theatre B is for the unclean or septic wounded patients. Since using the new theatre, the number of cross-infections has reduced".
The new theatre was built by the International Committee of the Red Cross who, with the Somali Red Crescent Society, transformed an old prison into a hospital back in 1992. Before that time, the war-wounded needing surgery were brought into one hall, which acted as the operating theatre.
Keysaney hospital has been hit by artillery fire on many occasions. The new theatre, along with other hospital facilities, was struck by two mortar shells in January 2012, leaving cracks in the theatre walls as well as damaging water pipes and felling trees in the hospital compound, serving as a reminder of the dangers faced by health-care workers and patients in Mogadishu.
12 year old Abshir is recovering from injuries to his arms when he was caught in a shell explosion. "I was walking along the road. Some kids were playing with a shell and it blew up. It struck me on this side and the other side." The two children playing with the shell were both killed.
Keysaney is one of two ICRC supported surgical referral hospitals in Mogadishu. It accepts all patients regardless of their clan, religious or political affiliation. Staff treated nearly 2000 weapon-wounded patients in 2011.
Facts & Figures 2012 Keysaney Hospital
The ICRC and Health Care in Somalia