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Recovering from TB and malnutrition in Somalia

Fardoza sits on her father’s arms, looking on as he talks with a doctor from Luuq hospital in Gedo, Somalia. She’s oblivious to how lucky she is to be alive.

A few months ago, little Fardoza was admitted to the Trócaire-funded hospital in Luuq with severe malnutrition and vomiting.

Fardoza from Somalia sits on her father's lap in Trócaire-funded Luuq hospital where she received treatment for TB and malnutrition

Fardoza from Somalia, sits on her fathers lap in Luuq hospital, where she received treatment for TB and malnutrition.

The five year old’s condition was so severe that doctors had no hope that she would survive. She was soon diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).

Her father explained that Fardoza had been sick on and off for two years, but that the extremely poor family could not afford medical care.

With her condition deteriorating, he took her initially to a maternal and child health clinic closer to their home. 

She was sleeping a lot by this time and started to develop severe bedsores. When conflict broke out near their home, the family fled 70 kilometres away to Luuq, where they found the hospital.

Upon admission, Fardoza was severely underweight and in a serious condition. She could not stand, sit or even talk and she was semi-conscious.

Hope for recovery 

Fardoza was immediately placed on therapeutic feeds to stabilize her and anti-TB treatment. Day by day, she started to improve. 

Fardosa was discharged after 24 days having gained weight. The family could not afford accommodation near the hospital, so the community came together to support them to rent a home, so that she could attend weekly follow up appointments.  

Trócaire works in Gedo, southwest Somalia, to provide the only health service available to over 220,000 people. This includes primary health care centres and emergency nutrition for mothers and children like Fardoza. 

Fardoza’s health has greatly improved and her weight has continued to increase. With the support of Trócaire and people across Ireland, she will continue to get the medical care and nutritional support she needs, until she has fully recovered. 

By Catherine M Waking’a, Trócaire East Africa

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