Save the Children Caters to Poor People like Us: Habiba’s Story

Wednesday 11 November 2020


Seven-month-old Habiba Ali is at Dhukisu Health Center in Moyale Woreda of Somali Regional State with her 31-year-old mother Abdia.  Abdia, a mother of four,  is among the residents of Dhukisu kebele who usually seek medical services from this health center. Little Habiba had Severe acute malnutrion with medical complication (oedema ++) but since Abdia did not know much about it, she was not brought to the facility immediately. Instead, her mother took her to a traditional healer first.  

When community health workers who were conducting routine visit to Abdia’s village heard about Habiba’s deteriorating condition, they urged Abdia to take the child to the health center. 

After consultation and diagonisis was conducted by Save the Children’s health staff at the facility, Habiba was immediately admitted to the Stabilization Center where she was kept to stay for an in patient  care because of her fragile condition. Abdia, however, had no money to stay and look after her daughter. This is when Save the Children, under the GAC support, offered Abdia full treatment of her child including meals for caretakers free. 

Little Habib started recovering quickly. 

“ I have had misconceptions but now I know what I should do to take care of my children.”. Abdia said. “I am grateful that Save the Children caters to poor people like us and offers free services. I want to thank the health workers too,” She added.  


According to the HNO 2019 report, some 2.76 million children under the age of five years will be in need of treatment for acute malnutrition (609,962 will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) across the country, and 2.15 million children aged 6-59 months will need treatment for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) from priority Woredas, including Hudet and Moyale). An estimated 1.86 million pregnant or lactating women (PLW) will also need treatment for acute malnutrition from priority hotspot Woredas. The three most important nutrition responses identified: i) ensuring high-quality life-saving treatment of acute malnutrition in children U5 and PLWG; ii) providing nutrition preventive services in elevated risk areas; iii) strengthening health system capacity to deliver nutrition services and improve early warning through improved screening and nutrition assessments (HNO 2019). Frequent droughts and conflicts have overburdened the health system and government healthcare providers, resulting in low capacity to respond to the frequency of events, especially in hard to reach areas. Sporadic unrest has had devastating impact on the delivery of health and nutrition services. This elevates the risk of disease outbreaks and malnutrition. 

In Dawa zone, Somali region, the rates of malnutrition are unacceptably high (for children under five 5, the proxy GAM is above 23% and the proxy GAM for PLWG is 27% ).

What Save the Children is doing in the region: 

In the Dawa zone of Somali Region, SCI is undertaking IMAM services for under 5 years’ children, PLW/G at the health facilities and SRH. Besides it provided access  to primary health care  services  at hard to reach areas through MHNTs  both in Moyale and Hudet Woreda.