by Brad Chrisman
In his job as a physical therapist in Mogadishu, Somalia, Osman Ibrahim Mohamud has learned to be resourceful.
The Somali Red Crescent rehabilitation center where he works has a small medical library. But he could find few references to help him with growing numbers of cases that he was seeing each week – children born with clubfoot or cerebral palsy.
“We are seeing so many cases of cerebral palsy and children with clubfoot, and we have a shortage of physiotherapists,” he says. “We get a lot of CP children, especially after the fall of the government, because the infrastructure here in Somalia has collapsed and there is not any experienced midwife who can deliver the baby.”
Armed with a computer, Internet access, and perseverance, Mohamed went looking for answers. He found Global HELP.
“I downloaded both the Clubfoot: Ponseti Management book and the Cerebral Palsy: Treatment & Rehabilitation manual,” he says, emphasizing that those two publications have been invaluable to him and his colleagues. “It is very useful to have your organization be the helper for our professional staff.”
In developing nations throughout the world, healthcare professionals often struggle without access to affordable, relevant, up-to-date medical information. In Somalia, the challenge is especially difficult because, after two decades of political upheaval, the country’s healthcare system has been severely weakened, and travel to Somalia can be difficult.
“It’s even worse for us because we don’t have much contact with the international community,” Mohamud says. “If we ask people, they say ‘I cannot come to your country.'”
Helping people like Mohamud is at the heart of Global HELP’s mission – providing free and low-cost healthcare materials to every place on the planet.
Mohamud sees a better future for his country and his patients.
“Now, I am also planning to train others – using the Global HELP manuals to train others,” he says. “And I’m looking forward to a strong relationship with Global HELP.”
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