After six days of being fed fortified milk and antibiotics, his tiny body still appeared emaciated and listless but his mother, Baarlin Hassan Nuur, 30, said he was much improved.
“When I brought my son here he was very sick and vulnerable, but he is recovering now and looking better,” said Nuur, a street vendor and market trader. She moved to Mogadishu from the town of Balad, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) to the north, when seasonal drought dried up her father’s farm.
Others in the ward ranged from a five-week-old baby girl to a three-year-old. One child had developed tuberculosis while another contracted a stomach disease when he was fed cow’s milk after refusing to breastfeed.
With scarce resources, nutrition expert Yusuf Sheikh Abdi struggles to run the clinic for local non-governmental organisation SAACID, whose name means “to help” in Somali.
“Feeding must go together with antibiotics to treat diseases. You cannot reach the desired treatment without antibiotics,” he said after pointing out the empty shelves and cabinets in the centre’s pharmacy.
In the corner of the room were the last of the supplies: a small stack of fortified milk powder and “Plumpy Nut” peanut paste, a special food designed to fatten starving children.