Loud drilling hammer noises and scattered tools welcome you to the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) orthopaedic workshop in Mogadishu town. The orthopaedic workshop complements other rehabilitation services offered at the rehabilitation centre. After surgery, patients in need of prostheses, orthoses, crutches, walking frames and wheelchairs can be assisted in this very centre.
At the rehabilitation centre, the staff advise, create and fit orthopaedic appliances for patients suffering from different types of diseases and injuries.
“My health condition is getting better. I can’t say much about my situation prior to the SRCS rehabilitation program, because before I used to walk on crutches” says Maslah Mohamed, one of the patients who has been receiving care at the rehabilitation centre.
On the morning of 12th January 2009, Maslah’s life changed after getting an injury on his leg in an explosion within Mogadishu city. He was rushed to Keysaney hospital in Mogadishu to receive urgent medical care.
After being ill for a year, his leg was amputated at only 11 years old. He consulted with the SRCS rehabilitation centre on what support he could receive.
“I got a prosthetic leg, mentorship and all other disability related support. I believe that without the SRCS rehabilitation centre, I would not have been able to get an education” he added.
11 years later, Maslah can walk and has completed his university education as an agronomist.
Mogadishu rehabilitation centre, opened in 1982, is the largest of the three currently run by the SRCS. The other two are located in Galkayo and Hargeisa towns. The centre typically receives nearly 500 patients seeking physiotherapy treatment every month. The number of visits has however been low with COVID-19 preventive measures such as social distancing put in place.
“Majority of patients being received are amputated, paralyzed, clubfoot cases or people dealing with gunshot wounds” says Halima Abdulle a physiotherapist and the director of the SRCS Rehabilitation Centre in Mogadishu.
Halima has been working for the centre for 30 years now, supporting and overseeing the operations. The centre is supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross through physiotherapy trainings, training the prosthetic and orthotic professionals who are the ones making and fitting the limbs.
This year nearly 7,600 patients benefitted from the centre’s services consisting of 4,141 physiotherapy treatment, 1,489 prosthetic arms and legs as well as orthopaedic braces, 1,000 elbow crutches, 126 wheelchairs and overall repairs of 630 orthopaedic appliances.