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Aid agencies condemn arson attack on Red Crescent clinic

Tuesday August 31, 2021

Gedo (HOL) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somalia Red Crescent Society (SRCS) said that they were "dismayed" by a blaze on Saturday at a clinic in Bardere, in southern Somalia's Gedo region that injured three staff members.

The fire was reportedly started by protestors.

Ahmed Mohamed Adale, the Director of the SRCS, said that his team was still assessing the damages of the flame, which burned for several hours.

"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. "

When the blaze was put out, only a shell remained. As a result, vital health services of both the ICRC and the SRCS will be immediately disrupted, including the mobile clinic operations.

"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.

As it stands, the SRCS estimates that only 15 percent of people living in rural areas of Somalia have access to medical care. The clinic is one of the 29 Red Crescent health facilities supported by the ICRC in Somalia.

The SRCS Bardere clinic was opened in 2000 and is run by 19 medical staff. It saw an average of 2,000 monthly consultations free of charge.



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