WHO secures $2m to boost health interventions in Somalia

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The World Health Organization says it has received $2 million grant to support epidemic disease surveillance and emergency primary health care response activities in Somalia, Xinhua reports.

Ghulam Popal, the WHO Representative in Somalia on Monday said the risks are particularly high among displaced people and other vulnerable populations already weakened by poverty and poor nutrition.

“Lack of sufficient resources, coupled with limited access to health services and absence of timely detection and response to disease outbreaks have challenged our efforts to provide lifesaving response and prevent disease outbreaks in the country,” Popal said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Somalia continues to face a major health threat from communicable disease outbreaks with nearly 5.5 million people being at risk of acquiring cholera. More than half are women and children below 5 years of age.

“The aid grant will help us strengthen coordination with the ministry of health and step up emergency health and epidemic disease surveillance to reduce morbidity and mortality attributed to epidemic-prone diseases,” Popal added.

The UN health agency early this year reported a funding gap estimated at 4 million dollars required to maintain its life-saving response to outbreaks, drought, and malnutrition in Somalia.

The grant will also support the procurement and prepositioning of essential supplies and life-saving medicines in all high-risk areas across Somalia.

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