SOMALIA – The World Health Organization (WHO), with financial support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), has launched a US$963,740 (€1,000,000) project aimed at enhancing healthcare provision in Somalia.

The WHO Somalia Country Office announced the project aims to deliver crucial emergency health supplies and essential medicines to drought-affected populations across the country in support of the organization’s ongoing life-saving essential health interventions.

The project will directly benefit over 740,000 drought-affected people, around half of whom are women. Direct beneficiaries also include people displaced by drought living in camps for internally displaced persons, and host communities in drought-affected districts,” the official statement said.

The agency further revealed that the project will target people living with disabilities, people with little or no access to health services, and people living in areas where epidemic-prone diseases are highly prevalent.

According to WHO, the interventions will address the needs of drought-affected communities living in the Banadir region and districts in Galmudug state, Hirshabelle state, Jubaland state, Puntland, Somaliland, and Southwest state.

These life-saving resources complement Somalia’s Essential Package of Health Service (EPHS), 2020, which aims to offer the most basic essential services, and supplementary services where possible, to every person no matter where they live,” the agency highlighted.

The provisions being delivered will include medical kits to address cholera and severe acute malnutrition with medical complications, as well as various emergency medical equipment and items from WHO’s catalogue of prequalified supplies.

WHO further said the consignments will comprise laboratory testing kits and reagents along with 59 different kinds of basic and supplementary medicines among other items in a bid to provide life-saving services to vulnerable populations.

Through this support, the federal and state ministries of health and WHO will provide integrated life-saving health services to drought-affected people at the community level through the outreach services, as well as through primary health centres,” the agency further said.

In addition, part of the essential medical supplies will be used to support critical care for severe pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and other medical conditions that might be needed to be treated at the secondary health facility level.

WHO pointed out that the supplies will help Somalia mount an appropriate response to disease outbreaks caused by the drought such as cholera and measles.

Furthermore, health facilities and humanitarian staff in hardest hit locations will be better equipped to continue their lifesaving efforts.

Supplies procured by WHO through this EU contribution will be delivered to WHO warehouses located in Mogadishu, Garowe, and Hargeisa, after which they will be handed over to the Government or partners at a health facility level,” the agency disclosed.

WHO explained that the district health information system (DHIS2), alongside the early warning alert and response network (EWARN) surveillance system, will store information on supplies that are received and used at the state level.

Moreover, these urgent life-saving interventions rolled out by WHO, in close collaboration with federal and state health ministries, ECHO, development partners as well as the clusters for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition, will cushion communities from the effects of drought.

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