IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in close partnership with the Ministries of Health in Somaliland and Puntland, will provide emergency life-saving health services to some 48,000 drought-affected people in the Sool, Sanaag and Mudug regions over the next five months, with funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
“There is a continuous need for health services due to the critical health gaps across Somalia,” said Abdikadir Abdow, IOM Somalia’s Health Programme Officer.
The massive migration from rural to urban and peri-urban centres in Somalia has placed a strain on the capacity of municipal authorities to provide basic services, further exacerbating existing vulnerabilities, particularly among women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities and marginalized communities. Aid agencies estimate that over 2 million people remain internally displaced in Somalia.
Some of the worst affected districts continue to grapple with limited access to life-saving assistance. Crisis-affected communities in these areas are disproportionally affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, and disease outbreaks.
In response to the effects of the drought and current flooding, the project will provide access to emergency primary healthcare for IDPs and host populations in the targeted regions. IOM has deployed four Integrated Emergency Rapid Response Teams (IERTs) in each of the targeted states.
“In close partnership with regional and federal ministries of health and local communities, IERTs are [deployed to] underserved regions with limited access in order to prevent deterioration of the health status of vulnerable communities, especially women and children,” Abdow said.
He added: “The eight teams will provide life-saving primary health services to 48,000 Somalis including consultations, nutrition screenings, referral services and health education.”
In 2017, IOM set up 22 static clinics and 33 IERTs, up from 10 and 4 static clinics and IERTs, respectively, in 2016. This was a more than a threefold expansion in operations which extended IOM’s health coverage to underserved areas.
The massive increase in service provision in the second quarter of 2017 was enabled by CERF. IOM provided over 550,000 individuals with health consultations in 2017.