Saturday, February 27, 2021

As Somalia’s COVID-19 cases surge, a variant is suspected

 MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A resurgence of COVID-19 cases is hitting Somalia hard, straining one of the world’s most fragile health systems, while officials await test results to show whether a more infectious variant of the coronavirus is spreading.

In the lone COVID-19 isolation center in the capital, Mogadishu, 50 people have died in the past two and a half weeks, Martini hospital deputy director Sadaq Adan Hussein told The Associated Press during a visit. Sixty other patients admitted during the period have recovered.

“We believe this second wave is the new variant of the virus,” he said. “Earlier, when 100 suspected patients were brought to quarantine, not more than 30 of them would be positive, but now almost all of them are infected.”

Somalia’s virus infections have jumped from 4,784 to 6,549 this month alone, according to official data.

Test results for the presence of one of the new variants are expected next month, Sadaq said.

Somalia, like most African countries, has yet to see a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, though they also are expected to start arriving next month.

Among the famous Somalis who have died from COVID-19 in recent days include well-known singer Fatuma Ali Nakruma and popular Islamic scholar Sheikh Nur Barud Gurhan.

Sadaq said a large, unnamed Somali-owned company had lost a dozen people to COVID-19 in just the past few days.

“Now you see how widespread is becoming this new variant of the virus, and we were not prepared for it,” he said.

Misinformation on social media claiming a far higher number of deaths in Somalia “has caused some people to avoid the hospital, where they would get the necessary care, and instead they die in their houses,” Sadaq said.

He called the rumors politically motivated.

Somalia’s current crisis around a delayed national election has contributed to the spread of COVID-19 as “social distancing is ignored,” Sadaq added.

The government has banned public gatherings, citing the pandemic, but opposition presidential candidates and other critics of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed allege that the ban is instead meant to stifle their demonstrations calling on the president to step aside.

Another demonstration around the election delay was expected Friday in Mogadishu. The previous one last week was fired on by security forces.

Adding to anxiety, some health workers believe Somalia’s COVID-19 death toll is much higher than the official one of 218, saying it’s in part because many people believe they will receive better care in private hospitals.

“And yet many other people don’t even bother going to hospitals, and as a result either die or recover and nobody knows about them,” said Ahmed Farah Ali, a health worker at Sana hospital.

Somalia, like many countries across Africa, doesn’t have an official system for tracking mortality data, and even the number of graveyards in Mogadishu is unknown.

For months, many in Somalia took COVID-19 lightly as much of the world locked down. With the resurgence in cases, many Mogadishu residents are now wearing face masks and no longer shaking hands. Official telephone and radio messages about coronavirus prevention have returned.

Mosques, schools and markets are as active as before, however.

But there is a growing sense of loss.

At the Martini hospital’s isolation ward, a 15-year-old boy, Mahad Mohamed Ibrahim, was grieving his mother.

“The coronavirus has come into the city,” he said. “We need someone to stop it and give us medicine that would give us prevention. Now you see I am sad today as my mother died, and you will see many others whose parents will also die.”


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Project Management for Development Professionals (Project DPro) Course- for 4 weeks only!

Project DPro is a globally recognized project management certification for development and humanitarian relief professionals. This course gives you the skills you need to manage projects through their entire project cycle, helping you successfully deliver your project on scope, on time, and on budget.

This course will give you an opportunity to join a community of almost 30K development professionals in 168 countries, who have been through the project Project DPro certification scheme.

Institutional Background

Pyramid Learning (USA) provides engaging and scalable learning for humanitarian relief and development practitioners. They work with individuals and organizations – delivering online and face-to-face courses, designing custom courses, such as PMD Pro [Now, Project DPro], MEAL DPro, FMD Pro, Program DPro developing credentials, and facilitating learning events. 

Its mission is to make quality learning appropriate, accessible, and actionable. To help those doing good, do even better.

All their products and services are designed to be accessible, appropriate, and actionable. They prioritize practical skills and tools while providing easy-to-deploy learning systems that can be used to upskill a single team or scaled to support a whole organization.

About the Instructor

John Cropper has an MBA and MA in Education and is passionate about the ability of effective and efficient program management to make the world a better place and he actively looks to collaborate with anyone who shares these goals.

Over the last twenty-five years, he has worked in multiple program roles in NGOs –including positions as Program Director for Oxfam GB in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean; Global Program Manager for a gender and governance program & running Oxfam’s project management systems globally. He helped write PMD Pro. He is a Chair of PM4NGOs and led the development of Program DPro.

He has worked on project management capacity-building initiatives for more than thirty INGOs, local NGOs, UN agencies, and other development organizations.

Course Schedule & Time-line

Starting date: March 1 – March 27, 2021

The course is approximately 5-8 hours per week over 4 weeks – there are many learning styles and some people prefer to take longer. 

Project DPro online courses introduce learners to the tools, processes, and systems that development and relief professionals can use to manage projects more effectively and with greater impact.

Learning topics include:

  • Develop realistic project designs
  • Identify, analyze, and engage stakeholders
  • Elaborate project scope
  • Plan effectively and develop realistic schedules
  • Understand the role that effective project governance plays
  • Identify, assess and respond to project risks
  • Plan and organize project implementation
  • Proactively manage issues and changes to deliver on time, on budget, and on the scope
  • Monitor, evaluate, and control project activity
  • Define responsibilities for your project team
  • Close down projects successfully
  • Know which tools can be applied immediately to projects
  • Know where to continue to learn more about project management.

Course Fee 
Individual participants would pay $125 for the course including local coaching, virtual or face-to-face based on the situation.
NB: There is still a chance to book the course for $100 only, but there will be no extra help or coaching. You will simply be purchasing the generic, open course.

Course Certificate
Everyone who successfully completes the course will receive a certificate of attendance issued by Pyramid Learning. Everyone who passes the Project DPro exam will also receive the Project DPro certification.

PMD Pro-I Certification Exam
Project DPro is a globally recognized project management certification for development professionals.

Learners can take the Project DPro Foundation Certification Exam on the final day of the course or any time they feel fully prepared at their own arrangement. A laptop is required to sit the online exam with costs starting from as little as $22. More information can be found here.

For more Information
In case you may need additional details about the course offering and registration, please contact us at or, similarly, you can call Dr. Mohamed Y. Dualeh at this number +252 63 4417945 for further inquiries.
Official website:  

Thank you

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Doctors Report Sudden Coronavirus Spike in Somalia

 Health authorities in Somalia say the country has been hit by a second wave of the coronavirus, blaming travels abroad and public gatherings ahead of elections for the increase in cases.  

Minister of Health and Social Care Dr. Fawziya Abikar said cases have increased 52% in February compared to January. She urged people to wear masks and avoid gatherings.  

Dr. Abdirizak Yusuf Ahmed, director of de Martini hospital, the main medical facility for coronavirus patients, told VOA Somali that hospitalizations, positive results, and fatalities have all increased within the last two weeks.   

About 120 people died in Somalia in all of 2020, and more than 30 have died in 2021, he said.  

“The trend that we are observing shows that most of the cases are imported and attributed to large-scale public gatherings, where essential public health measures are not enforced,” Dr. Mamunur Rahman Malik, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Somalia country representative, told VOA Somali.  

“It is difficult to verify, but owing to election season, many new travelers, especially from countries which are currently in lockdown, have arrived,” he said.  

The overall number of coronavirus cases in Somalia remains small, with just 5,183 confirmed cases, and 152 deaths to date.   

Ahmed said it is “epidemiologically possible” that new virus variants from Britain and South Africa have reached Somalia.  

He said travelers from Britain and South Africa have tested positive for the virus and are now in hospitals. Health authorities in Somalia sent samples to Nigeria to verify if new variants exist in the country, he added.  

Malik warned that progress is at risk of being pushed back, as there is no strong public campaign to ban public gatherings or for people to practice public safety measures.  

Health officials said elderly people are paying the price, as transmission is going on at the household level.  

Somalia is expecting a shipment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to arrive later this month.   

WHO said Somalia will receive 1.2 million doses from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to vaccinate 600,000 front-line workers, including health professionals and staff in local governments.  

More doses will come in March and April to cover 20% of the population. The Somali government will be responsible for finding resources to vaccinate the remaining 80% of the population.  


Monday, February 15, 2021

OGOW means 'to know': Canadian man helping Somalis understand COVID-19

Before Canadian Khalid Hashi and his team began their work in Somalia, the country of about 15 million people who mostly speak Somali and Arabic only had information about COVID-19 in one language.

Canadian Khalid Hashi, right, shows videos about COVID-19 in his app OGOW EMR in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, to front-line nurses and health-care workers in an undated handout photo. Before Hashi created the app, which contains information in Somali and Arabic about the novel coronavirus, Somalia only had public health messages about COVID-19 in English. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Khalid Hashi

“It was all in English,” says the Somali-Canadian, who was born in Ontario and raised in Edmonton.

The 30-year-old says he travelled to the Horn of Africa last spring to help kick-start a digital information campaign that would address concerns, misinformation and rumours about the novel coronavirus in a way communities and villages could understand.

“Initially, people were very hesitant to listen,” says Hashi, who has since returned to his home in Edmonton.

“There’s misinformation across every community. It was challenging and it still is challenging. But now there’s more information every day on the virus, and people are starting to understand the seriousness of the virus.”

Hashi says with the approval of Somalia’s health ministry, he expanded an app he had created three years earlier to include videos and information about COVID-19 in the local languages. Front-line workers in Somalia went door-knocking to 45 villages and continue to show the videos on tablets.

“This content, (that is) really helping with prevention and risk mitigation, has scaled across four regions, has reached 60,000 (nomads) and there’s about 100,000 impressions on social media,” he says.

His team has since incorporated features on the app that send communities emergency health alerts about the pandemic.

Somalia has just over 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,000 that are active. About 144 people have died of the infection, said Abdihamid Warsame, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Right now he’s based in Somalia working on a research project on COVID-19.

“There’s quite a lot of misinformation about the disease, that it doesn’t really exist in Somalia, and it’s a disease of foreigners. People don’t really take the precautions that they should. And I think Khalid’s work is doing a lot to try and overcome this challenge,” Warsame said.

“There have been fewer and fewer cases as time has gone by. Khalid’s expertise and his material and his distribution channels are definitely helping to contribute toward the COVID-19 response in Somalia.”

Hashi says Somalia’s health ministry reviews the app’s content and makes sure it resonates with communities.

“We’re not talking about a village. We’re talking national distribution of this content.”

Public health videos educate locals on symptoms they should be looking for and on where people can get tested.

“It really helps guide people for next steps on how to stay safe.

“We did our first video for a hospital that we were working with to help support our doctors. Doctors would show the video to their patients … people saw value (in that) and now that content is going to rural communities.”

Hashi says some of the videos he and his team have created in Arabic are being used in Yemen.

The idea for Hashi’s original app came to him in 2017 when he was visiting his grandmother. He was taking her to a doctor appointment when he learned Somalia didn’t have a good way to track medical records.

He ended up designing OGOW Electronic Medical Records to store patients’ health details.

“OGOW means ‘to know’ in the Somali language,” Hashi says. “I named it that because it’s me getting to know my grandmother. It’s a constant reminder of why I got into this work.”


Friday, February 12, 2021

The Long View: The world's last smallpox patient

It was October 1977 when the then-23 year old hospital cook, Ali Maow Maalin, was approached by a family from a nomad encampment. They were trying to get directions in Ali’s small coastal village of Merca, Somalia. Seeing a family in need but unaware of the two smallpox-infected children in the car, the unvaccinated Ali jumped in, offering to help them navigate their way. In just 15 minutes, Ali’s life would change forever.

By entering the car, he too became infected with the smallpox virus. Within days the telltale symptoms of headache, fever and a rash set in. However, Ali did survive. What's more, that car ride set Ali on a path towards a remarkable life dedicated to championing immunization and the battle against infectious diseases in Somalia and the world.

Somalia was the last country with smallpox. I wanted to help ensure that we would not be the last place with polio too.


Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya were the last countries in the world to record wild cases of smallpox. Thanks to global support and funding for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) drive to eradicate smallpox globally, vaccination campaigns were underway across the Horn of Africa. Long before the car ride, Ali in fact had many opportunities to receive the smallpox vaccine but chose not to do so, despite the fact that he temporarily worked as a smallpox vaccinator during the campaign.

I was scared of being vaccinated then. It looked like the shot hurt, Ali would later explain.

This choice – to not receive the vaccine – meant that Ali became the last person in the world to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox. His infection was Variola minor, which, although potentially lethal, was a mild variant of the disease.


Ali’s infection was discovered because the WHO set up a robust surveillance system that was able to locate him, even in his remote village in Merca. With the hospital informed about his illness, Ali was told to stay at home, which he did. As the only person left infected by the virus, he could have easily started a new outbreak, but by listening to the experts and obeying the guidelines, including to self-isolate, Ali didn't infect anyone else.

In response to Ali’s infection, the WHO also began contact tracing, quarantine and vaccination in the area. A robust international effort was launched to make sure that his infection did not spread to others and cause another outbreak. The hospital where Ali worked was also temporarily closed, with everyone inside vaccinated and quarantined by a team of vaccinators who came immediately after Ali’s case was identified.

All residents occupying the houses surrounding Ali’s home – estimated to include more than 50,000 people – were also vaccinated over the course of 14 days. These measures proved successful. Three years later, Somalia — and the world — was declared free of smallpox by the members of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication. This marked the first time in history that a major deadly disease was completely eradicated by human effort.


Ali’s work did not stop with helping to eradicate smallpox in his country. Following his full recovery, he chose to become an advocate for polio vaccination and in 2004 started working as a polio vaccinator. Despite the heightened security situation in Somalia, Ali led door-to-door immunisation campaigns with teams of volunteers, convincing families that the vaccines were safe to administer.

In addition to his polio efforts, Ali also worked to immunise children against measles, a cause he took up shortly after his little sister – who had not been vaccinated – contracted measles and subsequently died.

Ali’s biggest selling point was always his own story. After all, he too had been vaccine hesitant and that was how he was able to contract smallpox in the first place. In explaining his strategy in a 2006 interview, he revealed, “...when I meet parents who refuse to give their children the polio vaccine, I tell them my story. I tell them how important these vaccines are. I tell them not to do something foolish like me."

His willingness to share his own personal experience helped him and countless other vaccinators and health workers to end the polio outbreak in Somalia in 2005. Even when polio returned to Somalia in 2013, Ali was quick to get back to work in largely unsafe militia-controlled areas across his country. At this time, he was serving with the WHO as a district polio officer. 


In 2013, Ali Maow Maalin died from malaria complications at the age of 59 during a polio vaccination campaign. Even at this point, he was doing what he started at 23 – protecting the lives of others through vaccines.

At this critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic, as vaccines have started to roll out in a number of countries, the world can learn a lot from Ali’s story. For many countries during the polio eradication campaign, it was possible to stop community transmission by simply vaccinating their entire population. However, focusing only on national campaigns meant that some populations, but not all, were protected by vaccination. This was problematic for any effort to globally eradicate smallpox because if one person in the world had it – even a young hospital cook in a remote village in Somalia – the disease could easily spread, putting anyone who had not been vaccinated at risk.

This is what the world is facing as it looks towards moving out of the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with smallpox, no one is safe until everyone is safe. This means that, just as the international community got behind the WHO to eradicate smallpox by funding immunisation campaigns in lower-income countries, the same international community must collaborate to ensure equitable and rapid global access to, and distribution of, COVID-19 vaccines.

Beyond efforts at the global level, Ali Maow Maalin’s story also proves to us that every effort we make at the individual level counts. To help put an end to the current pandemic, each individual must play their own part in taking necessary health and safety precautions, including getting vaccinated and self-isolating when required, just like he did. More importantly, just as Ali did working on smallpox and polio campaigns in Somalia, anyone can make a difference in the fight against COVID-19. We are neither too young nor too old to be vaccination champions.


Is Somalia ignoring coronavirus pandemic?


As the world grapples with COVID-19 in its final round, the Somalian government faces criticism for its lax approach to fight the pandemic.

The Horn of Africa country has not imposed a proper lockdown since March 2020, when the first coronavirus case was reported in the country. However, a curfew was imposed for less than a month in April last year.

Somalis are behaving as if there is no coronavirus, with no restrictions in public places and educational institutions, including universities.

Medical experts warned this attitude is dangerous for a country whose healthcare system remains weak because of poor resources.

“There is a lack of awareness and strong centralized government system, which can implement its policies nationwide,” Dr. Hassan Adan, a medical doctor at Tiirow Hospital in Baidoa city, told Anadolu Agency. “A lot of people do not believe that coronavirus is real and dangerous. Some people even think rain can cure the novel disease.”

On top of that, government briefings on the nation's COVID-19 situation are not frequent. The last briefing was held in November.

I lost a friend who had difficulty in breathing. I believe he died of COVID-19 but his family denies it,” a 37-year-old businessman in Mogadishu, Abdi Aziz Yusuf, told Anadolu Agency. “The situation would have been different had we received proper and timely information on the disease's symptoms and causes, he added.

Opposition lawmakers criticized the way the government handled the pandemic.

“It seems the government saw political and economic interests in the pandemic in the first place. The government exaggerated the number in the first six months and then stopped releasing all necessary information for the public about the coronavirus,” Ilyas Ali Hassan, an opposition member of the Senate, told Anadolu Agency.

Building healthcare

Somali Health Ministry and the EU launched a €5 million ($6 million) multi-year project to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and Somalia to prevent further spread of the coronavirus and strengthen the health services delivery across the country.

“In addition to saving lives and preventing the spread of COVID-19, this project will help us build a legacy for Somalia’s health systems,” Health and Human Services Minister Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur said.

“We are grateful to our partners, the EU and WHO, who are supporting us to reduce the burden and effects of deadly and communicable diseases, save lives of our community members, and make our health systems stronger and more effective,” she added, speaking at the project’s launching ceremony in the capital Mogadishu.

We are leaving no stone unturned. Together with the EU, and the Federal Government of Somalia, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure everyone, everywhere in this country is safe and protected from COVID-19 and other health threats.

"Strengthening coordination and operational capacity for risk communication and delivering people-centered primary healthcare services will help marginalized and vulnerable populations. This will contribute immensely to building the healthcare systems,” said Dr. Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia.

Mohamed Ibrahim, a healthcare expert in Mogadishu, told Anadolu Agency the only way forward is to work together to overcome this pandemic. “Medical doctors, the government, and the public need to work together to overcome this.”

 Frontline warriors

Since Somalia announced its first case, 245 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus, including 59 women workers, according to Zahra Isse Mohamed, head of the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.

National Incident Manager of COVID-19 Abdirizak Yusuf Ahmed said: “Most of the medical staff, doctors, nurses and laborers who have contracted COVID-19 are working at Demartino Hospital, in Mogadishu, National Lab, and some other hospitals.”

“The reason behind largescale infections among health workers was lack of awareness and shortage of protective gears. But now the government has provided protective equipment and other essential items to overcome the virus,” Ahmed told Anadolu Agency.

Total cases in the country reached 4,862, with 1,008 active cases and 134 deaths.

Banadir, the most populated region in the country, Somaliland and Puntland are the most affected regions. Banadir reported 1,717 cases, Somaliland 1,430, Puntland 1,182, Jubaland 238, Southwest 145, Galmudug 124, and Hirshabelle 26.

The current positivity rate of coronavirus in the East African country is 6.4%, while the fatality rate is 2.7%, according to the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA) Somalia office. According to the government, more than 200,000 people in the country have been tested so far.

Turkey helps Somalia fight pandemic

Turkey was the first foreign country to send a planeload of medical supplies to Somalia, days after the country announced its first infection. Medical supplies included masks, overalls, test kits, and other items, according to a Somali government official.

On Monday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital in the capital Mogadishu urged all patients and relatives visiting the hospital to wear masks.

“Due to the increased COVID-19 cases in Mogadishu, all patients and their relatives coming to our hospital must wear masks. In order to reduce the crowdedness only 40 patients will be admitted to the outpatient clinic of each department, except for emergency cases,” the hospital said in a statement.

Vaccination campaign

A World Health Organization official said Somalia will receive 1.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this month to cover 20% of its population.

According to Mamunur Rahman Malik, the WHO head in Somalia, the vaccine will cover 600,000 frontline health workers and municipalities staff -- 3% of the country's 15 million people.

These doses will be handed to the government free of charge, but it will need to buy additional vaccines to immunize the remaining 80% of the population


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

An innovative and unique partnership: WHO, Sweden and Somalia work together to improve health outcomes for all Somalis

 Nearly 30 years of conflict and instability have heavily marked Somalia’s recent history. Some gains are being made, but the country still faces many challenges ahead.

Somalia’s health indicators, especially for women and children rank among the lowest in the world.

Swedish Ambassador, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO joint UHC High-Level mission to Hargeisa and Garowe.

Recently published statistics show that maternal mortality and deaths of children under five remain high, while female genital mutilation is still widespread. Prevalence of early marriage also contributes to high fertility rates. These issues are further exacerbated by cramped conditions in the country’s over 2 000 sites for internally displaced persons.

An innovative partnership between WHO, Sweden and Somalia’s Ministry for Health was launched to address these and other persistent health problems. The partnership, which is borne out of a policy dialogue and a high-level mission by Sweden to Somalia in 2020, aims to create an independent Somali Public Health authority and to modernize the country’s health information management system.

This collaboration between Sweden and WHO in Somalia was inspired by WHO’s 2019-2013 General Programme of Work to deliver impact at the country level.

Improving health outcomes in Somalia

UHC High-Level mission in Somalia.

Sweden’s funding initiatives and active collaboration in the country, supported by WHO, are focused on promoting equitable access to health care and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Sweden is working closely with WHO to support the establishment of an independent Somali public health authority: The National Institute of Health. This includes technical support from  The Public Health Agency of Sweden.  

“We strive to contribute to making the National Health Institute a centre of excellence. It is one of the priorities of WHO,” said Kyle DeFreitas, External Relations and Resource Mobilization Officer at WHO Somalia.

“We will help build the capacities of the institute, which will enable Somalia to deal more effectively with public health issues into the future, including potential disease outbreaks and pandemics,” he added.

Dr Abdifatah Diriye Ahmed, Executive Director of the National Health Institute, said the newly formed institution will be one of the most important and crucial steps towards establishing a strong health system in addition to the areas of equitable access and reproductive health and rights in Somalia. During the past three decades, the health system has been fragmented and has faced many challenges.

“With the goal of becoming the leading evidence-based centre of knowledge excellence and dissemination in research, the National Institute of Health will be the epicentre of efforts to shape Somalia’s new health care system and the future of healthy Somalis,” he said.

Sweden’s second project with WHO and the Somali Ministry of Health is a collaboration with SPIDER Centre, an institute based at Stockholm University. The initiative aims to help authorities digitalize the country’s health information management system starting in three pilot locations in Puntland, Galmudug, and Banaadir.

WHO and the National Institute of Health will also work with the SPIDER Centre to help build a state-of-the-art integrated disease surveillance and response system.

A unique partnership

UHC High-Level mission in Somalia.

Sweden as a donor doesn’t just give financial support to WHO to carry out a project or a programme. We work together. We network together. We strive towards common goals in the health sector in Somalia. We make resources available and we use them to push things together in the right direction, says Daniel Magnusson, Senior Programme Manager at the Somalia Section at the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi.

A critical feature of the partnership focuses on the exchange of expertise which will happen through the secondment of personnel. An experienced senior professional will join WHO Somalia to, among other duties, focus on supporting the National Institute of Health and collaboration with SPIDER Centre. Another expert consultant will join at a later stage.

After the first stage, the team will assess their progress and make any necessary adjustments.

A cohesive UN system

UHC High-Level mission in Somalia.

Sweden believes in a UN system that works together. Our view of health sector development in countries like Somalia is that there needs to be strong collaboration and coordination between the different multilateral agencies like WHO and bilateral actors like Sweden, combined with a strong engagement with the government at different levels, explained Daniel.

Building a stronger primary health care system is crucial in creating a brighter future for the people of Somalia and is therefore part of WHO’s main focus.

“A strong primary health care system can ensure equitable access to health care and rights to health including reproductive and sexual health for women and other marginalized groups. “It is an investment for managing health security threats at the local level before they become a national threat or an epidemic,” says Dr Mamunur Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia.

Despite the long road ahead, the collaboration between Sweden, WHO and the Somali Ministry of Health is one significant step towards ensuring that no one in Somalia will be left behind in the journey towards health for all.