News / Africa

WHO Trains Somali Health Workers to Improve Weak System

Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun training Somali health workers in trauma and obstetric surgery in the capital Mogadishu.  WHO says it hopes to shore up the country's weak health system by improving the skills of doctors, nurses and midwives.

The Somali capital Mogadishu is wracked with violence.  Last month alone, the World Health Organization reports 30 people were killed and at least 900 wounded in fighting between the government and rebel militia.

WHO says children under age five accounted for 10 percent of reported injuries, which included shrapnel and gunshot wounds, fractures and crush injuries.

Spokesman Paul Garwood says WHO is training 33 doctors, nurses and midwives to help them cope with the escalating conflict in the city.

"We have seen amid the violence a WHO trauma surgeon enter Mogadishu to conduct three, four days of training," said Garwood.  "Several-dozen doctors and other health workers were trained in these life-saving procedures.  It is part of a campaign that in the past year alone more than 100 Somali health workers have been trained.  We see Somalia has a very week work force, probably the weakest in the Middle Eastern Region."

The WHO Middle Eastern region stretches from North Africa to Pakistan.  

Garwood says Somalia only has about 250 qualified doctors, 860 nurses and just 116 midwives.  This comes to 0.11 health workers per 1,000 people.

Garwood says this is well below the 0.23 thresh hold required to conduct essential health services, such as maternal care and ensuring adequate immunization coverage.

He notes Tunisia, which has a similar sized population, has more than 13,300 doctors and over 28,500 nurses.

"The differences in terms of the work force in Somalia are stark and it is having a major impact on the way in which the health system can deliver care to people during the ongoing humanitarian crisis," he added.  "But, despite this, the World Health Organization with its partners are working and are desperate to trying to improve the skill base of the work force in health inside Somalia and will continue to undertake this training such as what recently took place inside Mogadishu."  

The World Health Organization and its partners are seeking $46 million to support further training, provide essential medical supplies and monitor and assess the health situation on the ground.

Unfortunately, Garwood says very little money from the appeal has been received.  He warns life-saving activities in health will be severely curtailed in the coming weeks if urgent funding is not provided.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More