Every child has the right to survive and thrive
A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. Unfortunately, many children in Somalia are still deprived of this. 4 in 100 Somali children die during the first month of life, 8 in 100 before their first birthday, and 1 in 8 before they turn five. This accounts for more than 60 percent of the under-five deaths in the country. In addition to this, one in 12 women die every year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy, especially because a majority of them could have been prevented.
More than 80 percent of newborn deaths are due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth, or infections such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and neonatal disorders. These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives and nurses during antenatal and postnatal visits and delivering at a health facility. Additionally, access to clean water, and disinfectants, handwashing, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition are proven solutions. Too often, these simple cost-effective interventions are out of reach of the mothers and babies who need them most.
Too often simple cost-effective interventions are out of reach of the mothers and babies who need them most.
Low immunization levels and inadequate access to quality healthcare and life-saving supplies erode children’s chances of surviving past infancy and developing to their full potential.
The health risks for children in emergencies are higher. Life-saving health services are often unobtainable or unreachable, making newborns, children, young people and mothers especially vulnerable to harm.
UNICEF partners with the Government of Somalia to strengthen national capacity to deliver high quality maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services.
We support primary healthcare, particularly at the community level, to help achieve universal health coverage in Somalia. We also work with partners to strengthen health systems to deliver integrated and innovative services for Somali children, youths and women of reproductive age. The following are at the heart of our efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in Somalia:
- Supporting the establishment of early, essential newborn care services
- Scale-up of coverage and quality of maternal health services
- Vaccinations and preventive and curative services for pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and other diseases .
We also support the Government’s efforts to tackle health challenges in places affected by the ongoing conflict and natural disasters and to develop resilient health systems that can withstand crises.