WHO and Italy launch €3 million project to improve essential health services in Somalia

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In their continuous and collective efforts to improve the resilience of the health system, the Ministry of Health and Social Services of the Federal Government of Somalia, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Italian Embassy have united their strengths and officially launched a multi-year program of 3 million euros. project titled “Improving essential health services in Somalia using a secondary hospital care approach”.


The project is designed to improve the delivery of essential health services at the secondary level in Somalia by focusing on building strong and resilient hospital care at Hudur General Hospital in South West State and South West State. Dhusamareb General Hospital in Galmudug State – both of which are currently unable to meet the demand and healthcare needs of the people in their respective catchment areas.

Developed under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, in close partnership with WHO and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the project aims to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by strengthening hospital care for integrated delivery of secondary care and intensive care services, as well as improving the hospital management system for better management and efficient service delivery.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Italian government for their very valuable support, as they are a key donor supporting secondary care and hospital management in Somalia. This support will help Somalia make progress in providing intensive patient care and strengthening referral systems, as well as improving overall credibility and trust in public health facilities – a critical goal for the Somali health system,” said HE Dr Fawziya Abikar Nur , Federal Minister of Health and Social Services.

“In 2019, only 27% of the Somali population had access to essential health services,” said Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative and Chief of Mission in Somalia. “Thanks to the support of the Italian government and AICS, with this project we will have the opportunity to change this narrative by providing crucial and life-saving services to more Somalis, especially those who are vulnerable and live in remote places. Additionally, the services offered are aligned with the revised Essential Package of Health Services for Somalia.”

“The project will contribute to the humanitarian-development-peace (HDPN) nexus in Somalia, by linking the short-term goal of improving secondary level care with the government’s long-term development goal of improving health care services. essential health. foster peace and development among the communities served by helping to address the root causes of tension and marginalization, and increasing health equity,” said HE Alberto Vecchi, Ambassador of Italy in Somalia.

Lasting 2 years, this project will aim, among other things, to: optimize basic front-line services; address existing gaps in the provision of specialized secondary health care (eg, emergency, critical, surgical); provide referral services to at least 5 districts in each state; using solar energy to supply oxygen; improving waste management systems; ensuring gender balance in capacity development and employment; improving the management and ownership of hospitals by local health authorities; and improving the capacity of health personnel to better respond to emergencies. Overall, and in addition to being in line with the new Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) 2020 for Somalia, this project will complement efforts to achieve the goal of UHC and ensure health for all.

The official announcement follows a previous signing ceremony and a high-level commitment ceremony held on April 21 and January 11, 2022 in Mogadishu, respectively. During the latter, the Federal Ministry of Health, the WHO, the Italian Embassy and Mr. Luca Maestripieri, Director of AICS and Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, agreed collectively to work together to improve essential health services in Somalia using a secondary hospital care approach” in the future across Somalia.

(With contributions from APO)

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