With security improved following the retreat of Al-Shabab insurgents from urban areas of south and central Somalia, aid agencies have increased health services and expanded emergency healthcare, reaching previously inaccessible areas.
“Somalia has experienced a relatively increased humanitarian space, and this has helped aid agencies to increasingly [provide] health services to the population who were earlier inaccessible,” Omar Saleh, UN World Health Organization (WHO) emergency coordinator for Somalia, told IRIN.
Epidemiological surveillance, too, has increased. “This has helped in detecting and dealing with possible disease outbreaks and putting adequate measures to control any outbreaks that might occur,” he added.
In 2012, a total of eight hospitals were built in Bakool, Lower Juba, Gedo and Galgaduud regions, offering, among other things, emergency surgery and cesarean sections. The newly established health facilities serve about one million people.
Al-Shabab restricted humanitarian access to many of the areas it controlled before Somalia’s security forces, with the help of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), took back most parts of central and southern Somalia in late 2012.
Attacks on humanitarian workers have since decreased significantly, according to a humanitarian bulletin released in January by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
This has enabled aid groups to reach long-underserved populations.
Read more of the story here at the IRIN news service:
With increased security, healthcare improves in Somalia