GAROWE, March 24 -Ample paved roads, highways, parks, ambulances, free health benefits, emergency telephone numbers, shetlters for the needy and social services, among many other public amenities are things that people in the West take for granted.
When you travel overseas to any of most developing countries, you are on your own for all your personal needs, unless you are a person of Somali origin blessed with strong, extensive and extended family support even in case of emergency. This is why Somalis are unique people to survive through nearly 30 years of statelessness in the absence of public services and institutions. Who can beat them in that regard?
A few months ago, I was among the mourners at burial ceremony of my old friend, General Abdullahi Ali Mire (Carays), who sadly passed away unexpectedly. Puntland government gave full state honor and managed the entire ceremony. Among mourners in attendance included the New President of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni, most of his soon to be appointed cabinet members and Puntland military brass.
The ceremony took a considerable time of at least three hours under the burning sun of the Horn of Africa. While we were busy in lining up and watching the ceremony protocol arrangement and procedures, and because it was a large gathering, something we didn’t notice happened there. An ailing former Somali politician, Hon. Mohamed Abdi Yusuf, fell down because of health issue. Evidently, some persons among the mourners noticed him and immediately took him to the nearest medical Centre. It turned out that he had nothing medically serious- just fainting for standing up too long under the sun. But, the doctors took care of him very well, and learning that he came from Holland, where there is a free medical benefit for its citizens, said that Puntland is bigger than Netherlands and could easily afford to take care of this man for free.
On hearing the incident, my friend and I drove to the hospital, after he checked out, took him out of the hospital in my vehicle. Hon. Mohamed Abdi Yusuf didn’t need any medical insurance or health benefit in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia.