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Recent Casualty Data in Mogadishu Shows Rise in Child Deaths

Doctor Salah reported on Tuesday that more and more children are becoming victims of the fighting between pro-government forces and the Islamist militia al Shabab. The World Health Organization says the number of weapon-related casualties at the city’s three main hospitals reached a new peak last week. Of the nearly 1600 casualties, 46-percent were under age five.

In an interview with VOA’s Joe DeCapua, Doctor Cumar Salah gives further detail about the types of injuries and casualties by which these children under five are usually affected.

According to Doctor Salah, burns and bullet wounds are the most common injuries in children. When not properly treated, these wounds often cause infection, leading to septicemia and eventual death. Without proper supplies and training, Mogadishu’s doctors are unable to treat this vast number of children.

When asked by DeCapua as to why so many children have become casualties in this conflict, Doctor Salah cites poverty as a main factor. As a result of the IDPs, many families are forced to move to Mogadishu—namely Bakara Market, the cheapest place to live—where the fighting is currently taking place.

Doctor Salah draws attention to this dire situation in Mogadishu, stating “This fight in Mogadishu is far from over….and we need the international community to pay attention to what’s happening.”