Friday, May 31, 2019

Diarrhea Outbreak Kills At Least 14 People in Northern Ethiopia

May 30, 2019 ( -- At least 14 people have died due to recent outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) in Amhara state of northern Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.
The Institute in a statement said 14 people have been confirmed dead and 192 others are still infected by the bacteria in the Amhara regional state. Similar cases of diarrhea outbreak have also been identified in two other regional states, according to the report.
It is  the first death report of the institute since the outbreak had occured a month ago affecting more than 200 people at the beginning.
The spread of disease has been put under control in Wagimra and Abergele districts where 76 patients have been infected and receiving medication, the institute's statement elaborated.
The disease is still prevalent in Telemet district of North Gondor where at least 111 have been affected but no case of AWD has been reported in the area since May 18, 2019, the institute said
As part of controlling the spread of the disease, 651,000 water treatment equipment worth of over 800.000 birr have been deployed in Telemet, Wagimra and Yeda districts where the spread of the disease was reportedly on decline.
Poor infrastructure and telephone network remained challenges in containing the spread of the disease and to reach out those affected by the infectious disease.
According to the institut's cases of AWD has also been detected in Somalia and Oromia regional states where the institute has deployed health professionals and the necessary medicines.
The institute warns of high incidence of AWD, malaria and tuberclosois in the coming rainy season and advised the public to take precautionary measures.
175 cases of the disease had been detected in Temilet and Yeda districts of north Gondor and at least 60 people were diagnosed to have been infected in Abergele district of Wagemra zone at border between Wello of Amhara and Tigray regional state at the start of the recent outbreak.
Lack of proper waste disposal means, unsanitary toilet uses, and failure to properly cook vegetables and other foods were mentioned as causes for the spread of the diarrhea outbreak in the stated parts of Ethiopia.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Health Ministers and other thought leaders meet at Gallagher Estate - Thurs 30 May

Leaders from across Africa will come together on Thursday (30 May 2019) to deliberate on critical issues facing health systems in the region at the Africa Health Exhibition and Conferences, the largest platform of its kind on the continent.

Ryan Sanderson, Exhibition Director for Africa Health, believes that the Leaders Forum taking place on 30 May, will provide an opportunity for Health Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other thought leaders to come together in the interest of finding workable solutions to some of the region’s challenges.
We believe that increasing globalisation brings with it many advantages, but it also puts a strain on health systems due to outbreaks, conflicts and the like . This platform will enable leaders from across the healthcare spectrum to exchange ideas and knowledge that will lead to more responsive health systems in the region, Sanderson says.
Africa is the continent which bears the brunt of the burden of disease from both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Half  of all deaths occurring from infectious diseases occur in Africa, with 69% of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa caused by diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. An African person is more likely to die from a non-communicable disease like diabetes or heart disease than anyone, from any age group, living in the rest of the world . While weak and fragile health systems are the cause of deadly epidemics such as the Ebola outbreak, it is the leadership which must rise to the challenge of fixing the systems that enable these devastating occurrences.
According to Dr Margaret Mungherera, a past President of the World Medical Association, developing leadership capacity should therefore be the main emphasis of any effort aiming to reduce Africa’s disease burden .
To address this, the forum will include a key session on ‘Leadership in a new era of healthcare’, where both established and aspiring leaders will present their views on developing solutions and driving change towards a health system for all.
Deputy Minister of Health Development in the Republic of Somaliland and speaker at the Africa Health Leaders Forum, Hon. Liban Yusuf Osman believes that an effective leader has a vision, mission and clear objective to achieve their goals.
Leaders must articulate their vision clearly, passionately and by ensuring that teams understand how individual efforts can contribute to a higher-level goal for the health outcomes and health systems, he points out.
Hon. Liban Yusuf Osman adds however, that reforms in leadership are required to replace current top-down leadership structures with inclusive, participatory, negotiation-based leadership required by the complex nature of contemporary health systems.
Increasing the number of women leaders in healthcare is also imperative for a transformed healthcare regime in the region. René Toua, Chief Clinical Officer of Mediclinic will address delegates on this topical subject and explore the unique role women can play in the boardroom to make sustainable changes in the system.
A session entitled, ‘Modernising healthcare in today’s consumer-based economy’, promises to provide a glimpse into current and future disruptive technology in healthcare and prompt examination into whether these will assist in creating an open, transparent and consumer-driven healthcare ecosystem.
The plethora of new technology entering the healthcare market means that health leaders must also possess the ability to discern between innovations that will provide value through improving health outcomes for their population and those that will place strain on budgets without realising the required benefits. Procurement of technology, without the proper cost benefit analyses can mean a waste of valuable health resources.
Hon. Liban Yusuf Osman says that several initiatives exist which could provide greater efficiencies in purchasing of medicines and technology for healthcare. “An example of such an innovative approach is pooled procurement, which enables consistent and sustainable supply of essential medicines. Other initiatives identified to assist in ensuring efficient procurement include collaboration with regional and global initiatives on quality assurance, prequalification of suppliers, information sharing on pricing and the regulatory status of TB products.”
Sanderson explains that Africa Health’s new feature area, The Innovation Zone, will provide the opportunity for leaders and other delegates to engage first-hand with product specialists, view live product demonstrations and attend presentations from a variety of healthcare innovators. Delegates will also benefit from presentations on Health Technology Assessment, Medical Device Regulation, Funding of Innovations and a host of other topics that seek to offer a greater access to healthcare.
Among the local and international organisations participating in this brand new space, will be WITS Enterprise and Promake Pty ltd demonstrating 3D printing technology, Lactease and Gracious Nubian showcasing women’s health solutions, Genetic Research & Innovative Diagnostics on the latest in genetic testing and many more.
“We believe that by supporting efforts to achieve effective leadership, we are helping to create health systems and societies that are engaged, responsive and cohesive,” concludes Sanderson.
Speakers on the Africa Health Leaders Forum include Dr Chitalu Chilufya, Hon. Minister of Health in Zambia; Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Healthcare in Uganda; Hon. Julieta Kavetuna, Deputy Minister of Health in Namibia and Mr Farid Fezoua, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Africa.
Each year, Africa Health demonstrates its commitment to building a healthy and effective society though contributing the proceeds of the conferences to a charity. This year, Africa Health will be partnering with the Reach for a Dream Foundation, an organisation that inspires children to fight their life-threatening conditions through fulfilling their dreams.

Africa Health will take place from the 28 -30 May 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

In Somaliland, the first female surgeon rebuilds lives

Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury, and a neglected public health and human rights issue.
2 million women in low-resource settings have an obstetric fistula, and up to 100,000 develop one every year. Leaking urine and / or faeces and living in despair on the margins of their own life, only 1 in 50 will ever receive treatment.
FIGO Fellows, trainee fistula surgeons from some of the world’s most underserved regions, are committed to closing this gap in care. Dr Shugri Dahir, from the Edna Adan Hospital in Somaliland, shares her story.

I want to share with you one of my most complex cases: Maryam Ismail, 50 years old and a mother of eight children.
Maryam got an obstetric fistula in 1989, and could no longer control her bladder. Because of the smell, she couldn’t attend events in her village. She missed the weddings of loved family and friends.
After one unsuccessful attempt at surgery she was told that her fistula was un-repairable - but that was not true.
Obstetric fistula is a preventable health problem and if it happens, a well-trained surgeon can often repair it. Without proper training, the operation fails. This makes the repeat operation more difficult and the chance for success even lower. I had another patient recently, Asiya, a 20-year old woman who was told after two failed surgeries, “You will never be continent. Deal with the incontinence.”
After we repaired her fistula at our centre, it took Asiya a while to accept that she could put her life back together. She had been living so far from society, in a place where no one could smell her. She felt reborn.
I think the international community does not see obstetric fistula as a health problem like maternal mortality. But patients with fistula who do not get health care die. They die, from complications that are both physical and psychological.
If I consider my own country, Somaliland, I will not see the end of fistula in my lifetime. The majority of women live in rural areas and deliver at home without skilled health personnel. Poor antenatal coverage makes it hard to predict which pregnancies will be high-risk, and travel to local health centres is difficult when there are sudden complications.
Training more doctors and nurses is essential to reduce the burden of obstetric fistula in Somaliland. Most women with fistula would prefer to have a female surgeon, but in my country there are only a few trained surgeons, and they are male.
I am the first trained female surgeon in my country, and I am so proud to be one of the 58 FIGO Fellows on the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative. I have had so much training opportunity to build my skills, which has allowed me to treat more patients – some of them have been suffering for 30 years.
After a complicated operation, Maryam woke up in a dry bed for the first time since 1989. She couldn’t finish a sentence she was so emotional. She couldn’t describe it in words, but she concluded – this surgery means the world for me.
Dr Shukri Dahir
FIGO Fistula Fellow
Maternal mortality is addressed in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda but maternal morbidity is not, even though it is a greater burden. Saving a woman from death and leaving her incontinent, isolated and devastated is not life-saving: it is a human rights violation.
On the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, it’s time that obstetric fistula was brought back to the forefront of global conversation, to ensure that no woman is left behind. #EndFistula

Friday, May 17, 2019

Economic Evaluation in Global Health Course offered by the University of Washington

Providing Institution: University of Washington, Department of Global Health  
Course dates/hours: July 1 – September 08, 2019, 10 weeks, 6-9 hours per week
Instructor: Dr. Joseph Babigumira, PhD, MSc, MBChB, Associate Professor, Global Health
Adjunct Associate Professor, Pharmacy

In Economic Evaluation for Global Health, you’ll find out how to evaluate health interventions for programs in low- and middle-income countries in terms of costs and outcomes through a series of cost analyses. Learn how to estimate healthcare costs, measure health outcomes, and interpret different types of economic evaluations (including cost minimization analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, and cost-benefit analysis).

In this course, you’ll also learn about modeling methods and analysis tools to help you make economically sound healthcare decisions.
This course is appropriate for health care and public health professionals who want a better understanding of the tools, approaches, and applications of economic evaluation.

The primary learning objectives of the course are:
o   To equip students with the knowledge and skills to read and critically analyze a scientific journal article in the field of health economic evaluation in global health.
o   To enable students to participate as knowledgeable contributors to policy discussions involving health economic evaluations and the allocation of scarce healthcare resources.
o   To enable students to participate in the design and conduct of health economic evaluations in global health in collaboration with health economics and health policy experts.

You will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course:
§ Listening to online lectures
§  Completing the required and suggested readings
§  Completing the course project
§  Participating in discussion forms
Unit 1—Introduction to economic evaluation in health care
o   Rationale for economic evaluation in health care
o   Theoretical foundations and definition of value in health care
o   Different methods of economic evaluation
Unit 2—The Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)
o   Introduction to the ICER
o   The cost-effectiveness plane
o   Decision rules
Unit 3—Numerator – measuring costs for economic evaluation in healthcare
o   Definition of costs
o   Different cost categories
o   Cost estimation
Unit 4—Burden of disease and cost of illness
o   Introduction
o   Prevalence and incidence base methods
o   Analytic methods
Unit 5—Denominator—measuring health outcomes for economic evaluation
o   Introduction to patient reported outcomes and preference elicitation
o   QALYs and DALYs
o   Multi-attribute utility instruments
Unit 6—Decision analytic modeling
o   Introduction to decision analysis
o   Examples on paper and in MS Excel
o   Sensitivity analysis
Unit 7—Markov Modeling
o   Introduction and rationale for Markov modeling
o   Examples on paper and in MS Excel
o   Special adaptations
Unit 8—Introduction to health technology assessment (HTA)
o   Health care systems and universal healthcare
o   Methods of HTA
o   HTA in low- and middle-income countries
Unit 9—Special aspects of health economic evaluation in low- and middle-income countries
o   Adapting to extreme resource constraints
o   Methodological issues
o   Economics of vaccines
Unit 10—Special topics
o   Budget impact analysis
o   Extended cost-effectiveness analysis
o   Comparative effectiveness research

Format: Learning Methodology
This online graduate-level course has video lectures, readings, discussion forums, quizzes, and assignments. During the site meetings, the group will review the materials and the Site Coordinator will facilitate guided questions for the group.  
Where a site should be primarily people in the same geographic location, some organizations/sites include a few additional participants who work remotely and have found other methods to “meet” by using video conferencing software like Adobe Connect, Skype and Zoom. Other sites create WhatsApp groups to distribute local resources and information, to connect, share ideas and help one another.

You can participate in this course as an independent participant or as part of a site with five or more people. We encourage participation as a group because it provides a forum for discussing course concepts and applying them to the local setting and customs. If you can’t join a group, the discussion boards can provide that forum.
The course is taught in English, participants should be comfortable with written and spoken English.

To be admitted, you must have a diploma in health related field or in the social science.
The course is most useful for health care professionals and public health specialists who have some experience in management and who wish to enhance their skills working with people and other organizational resources. The course is less well suited to individuals in entry-level positions in the workforce.

For those who are successfully completed the course will receive a formal printed Certificate of Completion on vellum paper with University of Washington seal mailed to them. We will ship them all together to your Site Coordinator.
Sample of certificate of completion to be awarded to successful participants 
More information
You can contact Dr. Mohamed Y. Dualeh, Somalia’s site coordinator for further details and guidance for your enrollment process in this phone number 00252-63-4417945 with preferable in WattsApp texting or drop an E-mail to  

 Visit our website for any additional information:

Similar advert appeared in Somali Jobs 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Residents of Dhobley, southern Somalia, receive free medical treatment from AMISOM Kenyan peacekeepers

Dhobley, 10 May 2019 – The Kenyan military serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has held a medical camp in Dhobley town, southern Somalia.
The medical camp, held on Thursday, coincided with the start of the holy month of Ramadan and provided free health services to the community living within AMISOM’s area of responsibility.
At least 200 residents of Dhobley town and surrounding villages accessed outpatient services that included check-ups, treatment of common ailments, drug prescriptions, and medical advice.
Mr. Siyad Mohamed Hassan, the town’s administrator, highlighted the high disease burden and unfilled need for public health services and requested AMISOM to extend health services to the people.
He cited the need to provide specialised inpatient services such as surgery, treatment of diseases like cancer, bone ailments and maternal health services.
Siyad said, The community needs every form of health assistance,” adding, “The need remains, and we request AMISOM to assist in whatever way.”
Lt. Col. John Mnjalla, the commandant of AMISOM Level II Hospital in Dhobley led the team of military medics. He said the medical camp enabled AMISOM Kenyan troops to treat patients in need of healthcare.

The contingent also handed over a consignment of drugs and medical consumables to the management of the Dhobley General Hospital.
“AMISOM will do its best to bring relief to communities,” he said. “We had a high turn up, and we recorded over 200 patients,” said Lt. Col. Mnjalla.
He also appealed to the communities to remain peaceful during the holy month of Ramadan, which is a period of fasting, prayer, reflection and supporting the less privileged in the community through acts of charity.
“My plea to our Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadan is a holy month. Let us maintain peace during the month and after that,” he said.
Mohamud Abdikadir Salamo, whose two children received treatment thanked the AMISOM Kenyan contingent for extending much-needed medical services to the community.
My children were prescribed drugs which they received,” he said. “As we return home, I appreciate the support by AMISOM,” said Mohamud.
Ahmed Noor Sheikh Ali another patient said, “I received a free medical check-up and drugs that are not available in the town. Thanks to Allah. I welcome (the medical camp) and request AMISOM to hold more such activities.”


Vaccines are saving millions of lives of children in Somalia: urgent need to scale up routine immunization programme

From the moment we’re born, we’re all at risk of contracting diseases. So the question is, are we aware enough? Are we responsible enough? Are we immune enough? Not long ago infections like influenza, tetanus, chickenpox and measles were prolonged, painful illnesses, which often resulted in death. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective public health interventions.

The Expanded Programmme on Immunization (EPI) started in Somalia in 1978 with the support of WHO and UNICEF. Due to the prolonged conflict and instability Somalia’s health system, including immunization services, is very weak, fragmented and severely under-funded. Control of vaccine-preventable diseases remains a huge challenge in Somalia, due to the low routine immunization coverage and the continued inability to reach children in security-compromised areas, hard-to-reach areas, nomadic children and competing health priorities for parents other than immunization of children. 

Low routine immunization coverage and a history of serious outbreaks that have hit Somalia in the past are a strong reminder of the risks posed by large cohort of un-immunized children. Vaccine-preventable diseases are prevalent in Somalia and child mortality is 137 per 1000 live births.

Somalia has been providing the traditional 6 antigens in routine immunization and with the support of GAVI - the Vaccine Alliance and immunization partners like UNICEF and WHO. The country has introduced pentavalent vaccine in 2013 and inactivated polio virus vaccine in 2015 and plans to introduce measles-containing-vaccine second-dose (MCV2) in 2020. With the continuous support of GAVI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rotary International and other important donors immunization coverage has improved in recent years; however, Somalia has still not attained the desired levels of coverage.

To improve immunization coverage more efforts needs to be in place for integrated approach along with other programmes like nutrition, malaria, water and sanitation and communication programmes to complement the reach of immunization and improve coverage of all eligible children with equity.
Somalia faced a deadly measles outbreak in 2017; out of the 31 000 people affected, 83% were children under the age of 10. WHO Somalia’s Emergency Response team, Somali national authorities, and partners targeted 4.7 million children in the nationwide measles campaign. During this intervention, around 4.5 million children were vaccinated. As a result of the nationwide immunization campaign conducted, as of April 2019, Somalia witnessed a decline in the trend of cases reported this year. This steady progress can be attributed to partners’ commitment to strengthen routine immunization and to reach out to unvaccinated children to boost their immunity. However, Somalia’s children are still not out of danger – measles outbreaks are likely to spread in security-compromised inaccessible areas.

Somalia’s last outbreak of wild poliovirus, which occurred from 2013 to 2014, affected 194 children. Since then, as a result of mass and more focused immunization campaigns, and robust surveillance for polio symptoms to guide immunization activities, the country has been free of wild poliovirus. However, due to the challenges faced in reaching hard-to-reach areas, the country is currently experiencing 2 outbreaks of rare strains of the poliovirus, which have affected 13 children so far. The last nationwide polio campaign, conducted in March, vaccinated more than 2.7 million children under 5. More than 84 000 children were vaccinated for the first time.

Marked during the last week of April, World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. WHO wants to assure parents and communities in Somalia that vaccines are safe, effective, and can lead to lifetime immunity from diseases.

While celebrating World Immunization Week with the theme “Protected Together: Vaccines Work”, Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia, called for scaling up the routine immunization programme in Somalia through working together with partners, communities and grass-root level organization. In 2018, Somali authorities, WHO and partners vaccinated more than 400 000 children against measles as part of routine immunization programme. Yet, about 170 000 children were missed or did not receive the first dose of measles vaccine last year. 
Our priority is to reach out to all these children who misses the routine vaccine doses or remain unvaccinated owing to access or any other barrier. Leaving no child behind, we can ensure every child’s right to lead a healthy and productive life- if all who need to vaccinated are vaccinated in a timely way,” he stated.

In the last decade, Somali health authorities and WHO worked with Gavi and other key partners to strengthen routine immunization. This protected 2.4m children against 8 vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.
Somalia has shown remarkable progress in achieving good immunization coverage for some diseases that is realistically feasible to achieve in a fragile state, lot of works still need to be continued and scaled up to fill the immunization gaps through enhancing partnerships with other local stakeholders which is the key theme of this year’s World Immunization Week. 

Responding to outbreaks of measles or polio is a priority but can be prevented through achieving high coverage in routine immunization programme and also by reaching out to the children who do not receive any vaccine during the first year of their life.
Despite the gains made by vaccination over the years, there are still unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in Somalia today. As a consequence, millions of children are being put at risk against vaccine-preventable diseases. As part of this year’s campaign, grass-root level vaccinators who spearhead all barriers to reach every child in inaccessible areas of the country were honoured as immunization heroes. Their roles in keeping children healthy and securing a safer future has been acknowledged throughout the country.