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When Terror Strikes

When Terror Strikes

Working Behind The Scenes to Save Lives in Mogadishu

What happens when disaster hits and emergency aid needs to reach the field within hours to save as many lives as possible?

In this photo essay, we join International Medical Corps’ team in Somalia when they delivered lifesaving supplies and assistance to Mogadishu’s hospitals, 48 hours after the deadliest terrorist attack in the country’s history.

Following the terrorist attack in Mogadishu on the 14th of October 2017 that killed over 500 people, the Government of Somalia issued an appeal to the aid community for victim support.

International Medical Corps works in four regions of Somalia, providing populations with medical care, malnutrition treatment as well as water and sanitation services. 

To be able to act swiftly, the organisation also maintains so-called standby capacity in the country.

In close coordination with Ministry of Health and funded by European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, International Medical Corps provided ambulance transportation as well as delivered vital medical supply, immediately after the horrific event. 

After the attack, International Medical Corps’ ambulances transported victims from the scene of the blast to Deynille and Keysaney Hospitals.

The ambulances were also used to transport victims between hospitals whenever needed. Altogether, International Medical Corps was able to assist almost 10,000 people after the tragic event. 

The response also included training of medical staff. Training plays a central role in all work carried out by the organisation.

This time it included comprehensive standard response procedures including medical, surgical and psychosocial response during emergencies.

A lot of lifesaving assistance during an emergency is carried out behind the scenes. 

International Medical Corps delivered vital medical and surgical supplies after the attack, including blood transfusion, anaesthesia and sterilisation equipment. 

Thanks to the funding from ECHO, the organisation could also deploy a 14-member Emergency Rapid Response Team, comprised of doctors, nurses and midwives.

Using International Medical Corps’ ambulances, the team transported wounded people to Deynille and Keysaney Hospitals.

The team also provided triage services at the scene and the hospitals as well as trained local staff on mass-casualty triage procedures.

‘Triage’ is when a medical professional assesses the degree of urgency of a wound or illness to decide the order of treatment of patients. 

In an emergency setting, it’s crucial that all levels of society work together to save lives and alleviate suffering.

This time, International Medical Corps could act fast thanks to the Somali Federal Government, Ministry of Health and funding from the European Union.

When terror strikes, access to healthcare should be guaranteed and international Medical Corps will continue to do what we can to make sure that happens. 


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