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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Joy at Somali hospital reopening
Women with sick children
The hospital will treat women and children for free
The Somali capital's biggest hospital has reopened after 14 years.

The Banadir hospital in Mogadishu will provide free health care for women and children. It has been mostly financed by Somali businessmen.

Somalia has had no central government since 1991 and has been wracked by fighting between opposing warlords.

For over a decade the hospital has been under the control of militia in north Mogadishu and much of its equipment has survived intact.

The militia agreed to the reopening after negotiations with a women's group called Women of the Peace Frontier.

Welcomed

The women, along with the local business community and UN aid agencies have all helped with refurbishing the complex, which has taken five months.

At the opening ceremony medical staff said the hospital can treat more than 1,000 people a day and consists of four departments dealing with child and maternal cases such as, malnutrition, cholera, midwifery, and female operations.

Until now the SOS hospital, which is mainly funded and run by foreign agencies, has been the only hospital to give free treatment to women and children.

Earlier this year, it temporarily shut down after one of its surgeons received death threats from armed men.

According to the BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu, local residents have welcomed the step and are particularly pleased that the project has been organised and funded by Somalis.


SEE ALSO:
Somalis march over shut hospital
19 May 04  |  Africa
Militiamen shut Somalia hospital
17 May 04  |  Africa


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