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Dr. Deqo Muhammad

Simon Taufel 1.webp

Dr. Deqo Mohamed is the founder and executive director of the Hagarla Institute, which develops sustainable health care systems in Somalia and the surrounding region. But her story began much earlier in the middle of the multiple violent conflicts in Somalia between militants and the government that has been ongoing over the past 30-years. As a teenager, Deqo helped her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi, to deliver babies and save thousands of lives in the hospital and displaced-persons camp that their family ran outside of Mogadishu. The hospital was shelled repeatedly over the years, mattresses & blankets stolen, patients threatened, but the family kept the refugees safe and treated them.

The hospital and camps they set up at one point housed 90,000 refugees who had nowhere to go. Deqo served as CEO of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, which supported the camp, until 2020. She then founded a primary and secondary school in the camp and strengthened regional education and health care systems by launching Aspire Africa, a training and mentorship program for teachers in post-conflict zones, and running mobile health clinics throughout rural Somalia.

She forged partnerships—including one with Yale University (where Deqo was a 2016 Greenberg World Fellow)—to support her work. also runs mobile health clinics throughout rural Somalia.

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