UNICEF in Action
© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Rich
Primary Health Care interventions
Approximately 2.5 million people are covered by UNICEF supported humanitarian interventions in South Central Somalia and parts of Puntland and Somaliland.
In the newly accessible areas in the South and Central areas, UNICEF Health Section provided life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in need by providing timely, integrated, and effective basic health services, support to the cold chain, essential supplies for the implementation of polio and measles vaccination campaigns and primary health service delivery at MCH clinics. These emergency interventions have benefited approximately 201,550 at risk people.
UNICEF also supports almost 70% of primary health care services in Somalia by provision of incentives, essential basic drugs, equipment, bundled vaccines, cold chain equipment and management tools through Mother and Child Health clinics and Health Posts.
Polio and Measles Outbreak Response
Since the start of the polio outbreak in May 2013, more than 35 supplementary immunization campaigns using 62 million doses of OPV, targeting children under five have been implemented - several of these campaigns have targeted children under 10 years of age and adults. The polio outbreak, which affected 199 people most of them children, was officially declared over in October 2015
In the March 2015 campaign when 99% of 2.1 million targeted children under 5 years were given polio vaccine, Vitamin A was also administered to 1.5 million out of targeted 1.9 million children under-fives.
UNICEF also supported awareness and behaviour change activities such as community mobilization, radio messaging, megaphone and mosque announcements, and advocacy with local leaders.
Reaching out to the most disadvantaged and building the resilience of health systems and communities
As most child deaths occur at home, UNICEF has initiated a community based initiative through integrated community case management (ICCM) for reduction of common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and complications arising from acute malnutrition at a household level. This community-based strategy uses trained, supervised village health workers in areas without access to medical facilities to deliver life-saving health services to children and is building up the capacity of health authorities, service providers and community leaders to mitigate the effects of any crisis and manage health risks. This project has so far benefited approximately 21,000 households.
Scaling up Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS)
The UNICEF-supported package has been adopted as the flagship health programme by Somali Health Authorities and is the prime mechanism to strengthen child health and safe motherhood services. These include child immunization, maternal, reproductive, and neonatal health, malaria, first-aid and care of critically ill and injured, treatment of common illnesses and HIV, through support to an increasing number of facilities and communities. It has been rolled out in 39 districts in seven regions across Somalia with two more to be added later in 2015 through 15 implementing partners. 10 hospitals are supported to provide comprehensive obstetric care services and 78 (of the 139 EPHS supported) health centres with basic obstetric care services round the clock. A potential 4.2 million people are being covered with EPHS services, exceeding the targeted 3.4 million.
Strengthening Governance and Leadership of Local Health Authorities
UNICEF, with partners is working to strengthen the capacity of Somali health authorities to respond to the health needs of the population. UNICEF works closely with health authorities at all levels to
improve access to, demand for, and quality of health services as well as providing guidance for development and implementation of health programmes in line with the latest global evidence.
HIV/AIDS and Malaria in Somalia
UNICEF has been Principal Recipient (PR) for the Global Fund HIV & Malaria Grants for Somalia since 2002. Through this partnership over 3.6 million long-lasting insecticide treated nets have been distributed to prevent Malaria. Prevalence of Malaria parasite infection has dropped to 2.8% from its baseline data of 21% in 2009, in the Southern part of the country. Testing for HIV amongst pregnant women and TB patients has been scaled up and over 2000 people are on now Antiretroviral Therapy.
Information Management System
UNICEF continues to support health authorities and NGOs with a nationwide Health Management Information System, designed to improve their capacity to manage and use data for decision-making and reporting, a major gap in the current health system.
Joint Health and Nutrition Programme
The Somali Joint Health and Nutrition Programme (JHNP 2012-16) is a comprehensive multi-donor, multi-partner five year development programme aimed towards helping Somalia meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) commitments on Maternal and Child health.