Humanitarian Health Action

Somalia news releases and feature stories

2017

  • 25 July 2016

    WHO and partners scale up response in Somalia to protect children from deadly measles outbreak

    Somalia is experiencing its worst outbreak of measles in 4 years. Drought and a real threat of famine, coupled with low vaccination rates, have left millions of children in Somalia weak, hungry, and particularly susceptible to contracting measles and other life-threatening diseases. Almost 14 000 suspected cases of measles have been reported this year alone (as of 23 July) compared to between 5 000 to 10 000 total cases per year since 2014. More than 80% of all those affected by the current outbreak are children below the age of 10 years.

  • 10 July 2016

    WHO and partners, including UNICEF, scale up efforts to minimize spread of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera in the Eastern Mediterranean Region .

    With increasing numbers of people in some countries of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Region affected by acute watery diarrhoea and cholera, WHO in the Region is working with partners, including UNICEF, to save lives in areas where outbreaks are active, and reduce the risk of these diseases crossing into unaffected areas and neighbouring countries.

  • 24 May 2017

    Somalia: Pre-famine situation in Somalia and its impact in the Horn of Africa region

    Address read by Dr Km Bile on behalf of the WHO Representative for Somalia Dr Ghulam Rabani Popal at a media roundtable briefing. The international community and the Somali federal government have both raised a red flag over the drought and pre-famine situation that has affected half of the country’s population. The drought has resulted in food insecurity, which has led to large scale malnutrition that has directly affected the health of the population.

  • 3 May 2017

    Somalia: Somalia launches second cholera vaccination campaign in Baidoa

    3 May 2017 – WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia launched the first round of a preventative oral cholera vaccination campaign (OCV) today in Baidoa at the Baidoa Regional Hospital, targeting 224 000 persons aged 1 year and older.

  • 24 April 2017

    Somalia: WHO conducts joint mission to Baidoa to review cholera support

    WHO Representative for Somalia Dr Ghulam Popal and Somalia’s Minister of Health and Social Services H.E. Dr Fawziya Abikar conducted a visit to Baidoa, along with national, regional and local health officials, to assess the cholera situation and outbreak response in South West State. The high-level mission aimed to demonstrate the commitment of WHO and the Ministry of Health to outbreak and drought response activities in the state, and included visits to cholera treatment centres (CTCs) in Baidoa and Bayhow hospitals.

  • 22 March 2017

    Somalia: WHO and Ministry of Health enhance cholera response efforts in Bay region

    The Ministry of Health in Somalia, with support from WHO, deployed a technical team to assess the magnitude and challenges of the cholera outbreak in Bay region, and provide technical assistance to scale up the response. The team visited 3 cholera treatment centres (CTCs) and 9 cholera treatment units (CTUs) in Baidoa and surrounding villages. While the treatment facilities receive support from health cluster partners, none of them have adequate water and sanitation facilities.

  • 20 March 2017

    Somalia: WHO provides emergency medicines in drought-affected Somalia

    As part of WHO’s response efforts to the severe drought in Somalia, WHO has completed delivery of over 45 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies for around 4.3 million persons, in collaboration with health authorities, to be used in health centres in the areas most hard-hit by cholera.

  • 15 March 2017

    Somalia: Oral cholera vaccination campaign launched

    The Government of Somalia has launched an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign today with the support of WHO, targeting over 450 000 people in 7 high-risk areas around the country. It is the first OCV campaign to be conducted in the country, and comes at a critical time after Somalia announced the ongoing drought as a national disaster and faces the possibility of another famine.

  • 27 February 2017

    WHO scales up response in Somalia as drought-affected populations face difficult situation

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is scaling up its response in Somalia to provide critical health services for 1.5 million people currently affected by severe drought conditions and a worsening food crisis. However, the Organization urgently requires US$ 10 million as part of the United Nations appeal for the first 6 months of 2017.

2015

  • 30 October 2015

    WHO pre-positions emergency supplies in Somalia in preparation for El Niño

    WHO is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia in order to prepare for any possible health emergencies resulting from the El Niño climate phenomenon expected to hit some countries of the Region in 2015, including Somalia. WHO and partner United Nations agencies have developed contingency plans and are scaling up preparedness activities, including pre-positioning of aid supplies in areas most likely to be affected by flooding. Flash floods have already affected thousands of people in the low lying areas of the southern and central parts of Somalia.

  • 23 July 2015

    Health partners in Somalia concerned over scaling down of life-saving health services due to funding shortages

    Health partners in Somalia have expressed concern that they will face difficulties in continuing to provide life-saving health services at the scale required as a result of declining humanitarian funding for 2015 and the forecast for 2016. Despite continued early warnings and appeals for timely and adequate funding, health is currently funded at 8.5%, the lowest since 2008.

2014

  • 25 September 2014

    WHO recommits to ending preventable maternal and child deaths in Somalia

    WHO's Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan, concluded a visit to Mogadishu this week, where he launched together with the Somali Government and partners two new initiatives that aim at renewing the commitment to end preventable deaths of mothers and children. In Somalia, an estimated one in five children dies before their fifth birthday because of pneumonia, diarrhoea or measles. Maternal mortality remains exceptionally high demonstrating no progress for the past 20 years.

  • 10 June 2014

    Measles threatens thousands of Somali children

    Mogadishu, Garowe, Hargeisa -– Outbreaks of measles in several regions have left thousands of Somali children at risk of disability or death unless they are urgently vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.

2012

  • 13 July 2012

    WHO concerned about increased number of suspected cholera cases

    Nairobi – The World Health Organization (WHO) is very much concerned about the increased number of cholera cases, particularly in Kismayo town. One health facility did a rapid test among a sample of ten patients, and a total of six cases tested positive for cholera. Out of the 65 patients treated so far in the same health facility, 40 suffered severe dehydration and needed immediate hospitalization. The majority of the cases are children under the age of eight.

2011

  • 27 September 2011

    WHO opens much needed field hospital at the Somali-Ethiopian border

    A new field hospital, operated and managed by the World Health Organization, was established last week in Dolow Somalia, near the Ethiopian border. This hospital provides medical aid to thousands of Somali refugees fleeing towards the border areas. In the first week more than 400 patients were treated – an average of 75 patients per day - and more than 30 surgical operations were successfully performed by a WHO medical team. The hospital brings enormous relief for the population by providing health services while lessening the burden on existing, overstretched health facilities.

  • 18 August 2011

    Waterborne diseases pose lethal threat to children in southern Somalia

    Nairobi, Kenya – With an increased number of confirmed cholera cases in Mogadishu, and growing reports of acute watery diarrhea in Kismayo and other crowded urban centers, an urgent multi sector response to contain the spread of this highly contagious disease is being mounted.

  • 31 May 2011

    High numbers of wounded children in Somalia's latest outbreak of violence

    Nairobi – The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the steep rise in the numbers of children under five years old who have been wounded in Somalia's latest outbreak of violence. The number of patients treated for weapon-related injuries at Mogadishu's three main hospitals reached a new peak in May 2011. Almost half the 1590 injuries reported were in children under five, compared to only 3.5% in April. "Many of these children are suffering from very severe wounds, burns and other injuries from bullets, blast injuries and shrapnel” says Marthe Everard, WHO’s representative for Somalia.

  • 20 March 2011

    National Immunization Days keep Somalia polio-free

    Nairobi, Kenya-–On the eve of celebrating four years without polio in Somalia, the country kicks off National Immunization Days on Sunday 20 March, with a focus on ensuring that no eligible child is left unvaccinated during the three days of the campaign. During 2011, two rounds of polio vaccinations are planned.

2010

  • December 2010

    Somalia: WHO and partners responding to the immediate needs of the population

    Hihglights--Up to 2 million people in Somalia, 1.46 million of whom are displaced, are in need of humanitarian assistance. South Central Somalia is the area most affected by conflict and the resultant displacements of population, disruptions of services and restrictions on movement. Combined with the absence of safe drinking water and sanitation and the low level of immunization coverage, these factors represent major threats to health.

  • 12 October 2010

    Depleted Mogadishu hospitals struggle to treat Somali war wounded

    Nairobi - Children of Mogadishu are suffering from the Somali capital's recent increased violence, accounting for one-fifth of all weapons-related casualties. The high number of young casualties, coupled with a limited number of skilled surgeons and continuing demands for routine surgical care, requires an urgent upgrade of health facilities in the city.

2009

  • 29 September 2009

    Somalia - Struggling to reach the sick

    Somalia's humanitarian crisis has sunk to its lowest point in two decades, with escalated hostilities since May around the capital, Mogadishu, putting the lives of millions, including women and children, at risk and jeopardizing recent health gains.

2006

  • 8 December 2009

    Flooding emergency in the Horn of Africa: major health risks

    NAIROBI/GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to be deeply concerned by the health situation of people living in the flood affected areas in the Horn of Africa. Since October, unusually heavy rains have caused major flooding in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The flooding is expected to continue, putting people's health at major risk. A combination of displacement, living in crowding conditions, lack of clean, safe water and the destruction of sanitation systems, is putting between 1.5 to 1.8 million people at risk of infectious diseases, such as cholera, measles, malaria as well as nutrition deficiencies.

  • 31 March 2006

    Drought worsens health crisis in Somalia

    WHO's Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan, concluded a visit to Mogadishu this week, where he launched together with the Somali Government and partners two new initiatives that aim at renewing the commitment to end preventable deaths of mothers and children. In Somalia, an estimated one in five children dies before their fifth birthday because of pneumonia, diarrhoea or measles. Maternal mortality remains exceptionally high demonstrating no progress for the past 20 years.

2000

  • 31 December 2000

    Aid Agencies working to curb annual Cholera outbreak

    WHO's Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan, concluded a visit to Mogadishu this week, where he launched together with the Somali Government and partners two new initiatives that aim at renewing the commitment to end preventable deaths of mothers and children. In Somalia, an estimated one in five children dies before their fifth birthday because of pneumonia, diarrhoea or measles. Maternal mortality remains exceptionally high demonstrating no progress for the past 20 years.