Woke up at 1am with a boom, but there were no sounds of firing so I went back to sleep. When we arrived at security meeting today there was only about half of the team present. I was told it was because there are checkpoints around town so it takes a little longer to get to work.
We have another meeting with Internally Displaced People (IDP) women this morning. They brought their children, who were really sweet, all malnourished to varying degrees, so after our discussion they were all able to go down in a consultation. It is a different conversation today, to what we heard the other day. That is why we met with two different communities, and it would be better if we could even meet with some more, but we have to strike a balance.
What is so encouraging today is that the head of the IDP camp who came to see the clinic on Thursday has hired a bus and sent a large group of women and children to the clinic today. There are 20 children from the camp in the Out-Patient Department (OPD) and the midwives just said there are dozens of women from the camp in the Ante-Natal Clinic (ANC), they have run out of room and women are sitting on the floor and waiting outside. This reinforces an important point. One on one contact is key to being able to get information to the most vulnerable and that if people have a positive experience in our clinic then they will encourage others to come and word will spread. Somalia has a very oral culture and we can see it in motion here.
One of the other things that come out of today is that we don’t have a full picture of how small the world is for the really poor. There are different types of displaced people in Mogadishu; actually the violence over the years has displaced nearly everyone at some point. It is those in the camps that are the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable. If you are an IDP living in one of these camps in Mogadishu, then you spend your days wondering and worrying not only about the security but also about how you are going to feed yourself and your children. The harder that is the smaller your world becomes. The more children you have to feed, the smaller your world becomes, it is near impossible for some of these people to lift there heads for a moment and think about finding out where there is a health care facility, or trying to keep your ear to the ground to work out when a new one opens. It reinforces the importance of a proactive approach to the work MSF does, and mobile clinics, which the teams are planning to visit the IDP camps are an excellent first step.