Finland and IOM are celebrating their co-operation in health care in Somalia

Since 2008, Finnish somali’s healthcare professionals have trained health care professionals in their former home country. The results of the project – carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) -were celebrated at a 10-year seminar on Tuesday.

Finland has supported the work of IOM, where Finnish and Somali doctors and nurses train local health professionals, especially in maternity and child health. The program has also strengthened local educational expertise.

Over a period of ten years, a total of 159 Somali experts have left in the Somalia. The pioneering co-operation initiative also came from the Finnish Somali community, which has had a significant impact on the results of the project.

The work has clearly improved health care in Somalia and Puntmaa for 10 years. With the help of the project’s experts, the Hargeisa Hospital has established dialysis and intensive care departments and a dental clinic. They are the first public sector services in their field in Somalia.

In total, around 4000 local workers have been trained during the various phases of the program.

Photo: Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Improvement in maternity and child health

Childbirths are safer and mothers are more likely to survive of childbirth. Mortality rates for newborns in the Hargeisa Central Hospital have dropped from 24% to 5%. Child mortality in hospital has fallen by 90%.

The number of patients at Yardimel Hospital in Mogadishu grew from 800 to 4000 in 2017-2018.

One of the best results of the program is the unit established at Puntmaa’s Garowe General Hospital, which focuses on newborn care. Before the establishment of the unit in the hospital, 70 newborn children died each month; in the last months of 2016, the corresponding figure was 3 children.

Providing better basic services can also help prevent humanitarian distress and the need for people to leave.

Finland finances MIDA FINNSOM projects in Somalia and southern Somalia and Puntmaa. Finland has granted funding for the project covering southern Somalia and Puntma for EUR 5.4 million for the years 2019-2021.