Aid workers struggle with Somali refugee influx

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Aid workers struggle with Somali refugee influx

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Aid agencies at the Dadaab refugee camp on Kenya’s border with Somalia said on Saturday they were scrambling to provide medical help to the thousands of people arriving in the region.

The deluge of refugees trying to escape war and the worst drought in decades has put a severe strain on medical workers, trying to maintain health levels at the camp.

It’s estimated that 3.7 million Somalis, almost half the population, are going hungry after four years without rain.

More than 380,000 refugees have crossed into the camp with thousands more on the fringes.

The levels of malnutrition have prompted UNICEF and Kenyan officials to begin an immunisation campaign.

Dr Mohamed Sheikh told euronews: “Because of the influx of people who are unimmunised, we fear that there will be an outbreak of diseases, especially polio and measles”.

Meanwhile refugees crossing the border have told aid workers how they got caught up in the violence of Somalia’s decades-old civil war.

“We got here last night. We are attacked and all our bags were taken. We have nothing now – we hope we will get help here,” said refugee Habidya Ibrahim.

An insurgency began in 2007 with regular fighting still going on between government forces and Islamist militants.