Somalia: Health Cluster Monthly Bulletin, August 2017

Situation Report
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  • On the 13th of August, a national event was held by the government in Mogadishu to celebrate 3-years Polio Free Somalia. The President of the Federal Government of Somalia, Cabinet ministers, WHO Regional Director, DSRSG/UNRC/HC and others attended this national celebration of this event.

  • The month of August has seen a sustained decline in the number of cases of cholera reported from across Somalia. The 917 cases recorded in August 2017 now approximate to the averaged monthly figures recorded in 2015 of 440 cases and during 2016 of 1,300 cases/month. The focus now moves towards cholera preparedness in advance of the forthcoming October rains.

  • The numbers of cases of measles remain at epidemic levels with more than 1491 cases being recorded in August. A nationwide campaign to vaccinate all 4.2 million children in the country between the ages of 6 months and 10 years will begin in November/December 2017. During August, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund committed $1 million to financing of the campaign.

Summary of Humanitarian Situation

Somalia is in its second year of widespread drought. Conditions in 2017 have continued to deteriorate following poor and below normal Gu rains. Overall 6.2 million people are now in need of life-saving and livelihoods support.

2017 has seen two major communicable disease outbreaks take place across Somalia – measles and cholera. For the period through to the end of August, more than 77,000 cases of cholera/AWD and 16,000 cases of measles have been reported. The drought has affected a population with pre-existing poor health status and in a country where the health system underperforms. Even prior to the onset of the current drought, amongst children under the age of 5 years, 42% were stunted whilst 13.2% were wasted. Both the under 5 mortality rate of 137/1000 as well as maternal mortality ratio of 732/100,000 live births are the highest in the region.

The Health Cluster is coordinating a humanitarian health response which involves more than 60 partners. The work of partners includes the strengthening of system-wide capacities to ensure an effective and predictable health response to the main causes of avoidable death, illness and disability.