Somalia: Arson attack destroys Red Crescent clinic


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somalia Red Crescent Society (SRCS) are dismayed by Saturday’s arson attack on the Bardere clinic in Somalia’s Gedo region. The fire, instigated by protestors, destroyed the SRCS clinic while three staff were also injured in the incident.

“Our three colleagues are recovering from their injuries. We are assessing the damage to the clinic but the destruction is massive. The fire consumed the entire clinic and it took hours to put it out.“ said Ahmed Mohamed Adale, the Director of the SRCS.

Only a shell remains in place of the clinic that saw an average of 2,000 monthly consultations. The incident also disrupted activities of both organizations including the crucial mobile clinic operations whose equipment were destroyed in the fire.

“This is unacceptable! The families who go to the clinic are now forced to seek medical care elsewhere. Under no circumstance should a health facility be destroyed or healthcare workers injured.” said Juerg Eglin, head of the ICRC in Somalia.

Access to health care remains a problem in Somalia with most health facilities located in places out of reach for much of the population. Only 15 percent of people living in rural areas are estimated to have access to medical care, a challenge often further complicated by the ongoing conflict and climatic shocks.

Bardere clinic was opened in 2000 and is run by 19 medical staff. The facility was expanded in 2018 and provides free medical services which include outpatient care, a therapeutic program as well as a targeted supplementary feeding program to help families stave off malnutrition in children. The clinic is one of the 29 Red Crescent health facilities supported by the ICRC in Somalia.


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