Success Stories

Somali woman almost dies from cholera

Fatima Mohammed Noor, a Somali woman in her mid-40s, lives in the Al-Shariya District in Al-Bayda. She is a poor woman with two daughters who lives off of earnings made from begging in the city's markets and streets.
In mid-April, Fatima suffered from severe diarrhea and vomiting, and ignored it despite her deteriorating health. Her extreme poverty prevented her from going to the hospital for treatment.

After three days of continuous diarrhea and vomiting, her condition deteriorated and her body became diseased due to her large loss of fluids. She was only then transferred to the Athawarah general Hospital in Al-Bayda city.

"When Fatima arrived at the hospital clinic, she was unconscious, her pressure was very low, and the heartbeat was very high," says Dr. Mohammed al-Marisi, who received Fatima and supervised her treatment. Dr. Al-Muraisi added: "We started to revive her until she regained consciousness, then she was examined. Her rapid examination showed positive for cholera and kidney tests showed a lack of kidney function.

Fatima was transferred to the acute water diarrhea (AWD) treatment unit supported by the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response (NFDHR). The support for this unit was part of the activities for NFDHR’s Integrated Response project for IDPs and those most vulnerable to Cholera Outbreak in Al Bayda, which is financially supported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The medical staff gave Fatima fluids, as well as antibiotics and prescription drugs, and she stayed in the AWD treatment unit for three days. While there, she received free medical care and medication to recover a large part of her health and well-being. Before Fatima left the center, she also had a kidney function check, which turned out to be positive.

Dr. Al-Marisi expressed his happiness when witnessing Fatima’s reunion with her children once she was fully recovered. Before leaving the center, the doctor sat with and explained to Fatima ways to prevent cholera and the importance of personal hygiene and proper sanitation. He also explained different ways to safely store water and food, and handed her a special bag containing a set of soap and detergents and chlorine tablets to sterilize drinking water.