Serious and Persistent Challenges

The region remains one of the largest and most complex crises, with millions in need of humanitarian assistance.

Despite humanitarian presence in the field for over two decades the region life and health indicators remain stubbornly amongst the lowest. Most Somalis remain without access to basic and affordable health care meaning tens of thousands of people die needlessly due to completely preventable illnesses.

Mother and infant death and disability rates is among the highest in the world. Frequent outbreaks of epidemics and diseases such as cholera, acute watery diarrhoea, malaria and tuberculosis are all too common.

A financial burden

But it is not just simply about health. Poverty in the Somali context is the main driver of ill health, in turn ill health traps millions in extreme poverty.

On average most Somalis earn just $2 a day, and face stark choice on a daily basis, pay for food or pay for medical service?  It’s a vicious cycle, preventing whole communities from ever leading healthy and prosperous lives.

There are many factors that contribute to this including;

  • Extremely weak health systems in major cities and towns and almost non existent in rural areas
  • Poor and/or inadequate infrastructure
  • Lack of access for humanitarian & development agencies actors to vulnerable communities
  • Fragmented, sparse and inefficient humanitarian action without long term development approach.
  • Lack of quality medication and materials
  • Extremely low health worker to population ratio

Innovative, grassroots development approach

The current humanitarian approach by international and local aid agencies is broken and simply does not work for the people it’s supposed serve.

We strongly believe that only a long term development approach will make serious inroads will lead to healthy and financially secure communities across all the Somali regions.

This is why SHiFAT will pilot a project in Somaliland that will allow universal access to quality and affordable primary health care.

Private healthcare in Somaliland and other regions is booming and largely unregulated.

We plan to undercut this sector by providing access to strong public primary health care system that is affordable, beginning in rural communities all the way to major urban towns and cities.

Our project will have positive impact on capacity, as more primary health centres open, more health workers will be employed. It does not stop there, but with regular seminars and workshops will make sure health workers receive ongoing professional development to provide better care.