Two Little Miracles Bring Joy amid Despair and Heartache Heady

Cape Times (South Africa), September 15, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Two Little Miracles Bring Joy amid Despair and Heartache Heady


Abdi Aziz, Somalia: For the team of South African medical specialists entrenched in a Somali hospital, the survival of two gravely ill young children is nothing short of a miracle. Severely dehydrated, malnourished and non-responsive, it was believed the children were doomed to die.

Instead they made remarkable recoveries.

"Today I know where God lives. He lives right here in Mogadishu. He lives with these people and he is looking after their children," said a smiling Dr Zwedi Nxumalo.

For Nxumalo and his 28 colleagues, who are part of the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, the survival of 13-month-old Mustafa Ali and five-month-old Nasreen Siyad is a miracle amid the misery, heartache and death which they have dealt with daily for nearly two weeks.

Both were brought into Forlanini Hospital within hours of the team's taking over its running on Saturday.

The charity is providing medical care and food to thousands of people who have been forced by famine and war to flee to Mogadishu.

About 20 000 children are estimated to have died from starvation in Somalia alone.

For Dr Yakub Essak the survival of Nasreen is a prayer answered. "When I saw Nasreen I knew she was in trouble. We did everything we could for her and, when I got back to our compound, I said a special prayer for her. That prayer was answered. Today those prayers of mine for this little girl were answered," he said as Nasreen gripped his hand tightly.

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