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Mothers of Bosaso Maternal Health in Somalia

Nikki denholm | Somalia

Organization: Exposure International

Yasmine is 25 yrs old, a mother of 5 and her husband is a Somali fisherman. She has walked 100 kms to get help for her son Mohammed. Mohammed was born prematurely and as a result of this and malnourishment, he is now permanently blind. There are no treatment options for him at the hospital.
“There is a deep sadness when your children are sick and dying and you cannot do anything. Our children are everything. All we can do is trust Allah”.

Somalia is arguably one of the most dangerous countries in the world; with its grim history of Al-Shabaab, piracy and famines, but the stories and faces behind this are seldom captured – in particular the profound impact 20 years of civil war has had on maternal and child health in the region.

Somalia is now rated the worst place globally to be an expectant mother, and in September 2011, photographer Nikki Denholm travelled to Bosaso, the hometown of the notorious Somali pirates, to visually document maternal health conditions firsthand through the lives and stories of the mothers of Bosaso. She travelled and visited mothers in IDP camps, hospitals and makeshift clinics throughout the region. These images highlight the grim reality for mothers and children living in Bosaso  - and the data collected at hospitals indicated 1 in 10 mothers died during pregnancy/birth and 1 in 4 babies died. Despite these appalling findings, the images also capture the dignity, beauty and strength of the human spirit – a testament to the brave and tenacious mothers of Bosaso.

Mothers of Bosaso Project. 

Nikki Denholm


+ 64 21979212


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