The European Union (EU) on Wednesday launched a 6 million U.S. dollar three-year project to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and Somalia to prevent further community spread of COVID-19.
Nicolas Berlanga Martinez, EU Ambassador to Somalia, said the project will also strengthen the health services delivery across the country as Somalia’s health systems start recovering from the aftershock of the pandemic.
“In the path towards a prosperous and stable Somalia, COVID-19 should be seen as an opportunity to develop better public services and make Federal and States’ institutions work together in a more coordinated way,” said Martinez in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.
The project aims to contain and suppress the COVID-19 epidemic, and other disease outbreaks, in locations where signs of virus circulation and transmission continue.
The project, which was signed in December 2020, will contribute to preventing large-scale community transmission of COVID-19 and further spread and/or resurgence of the virus, as well as other epidemic-prone diseases, while helping health systems recover better and stronger.
Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia, said the UN agency will redouble its efforts along with the EU and Somali government to ensure everyone in Somalia is safe and protected from COVID-19 and other health threats.
“Building integrated disease surveillance systems and the capacity of health care workers on disease detection and surveillance will remain key to achieving the impact of the project,” Malik said.
He said strengthening coordination and operational capacity for risk communication, delivering people-centered primary health care services will ensure access and availability of health services for the marginalized and vulnerable populations.
The project to be jointly implemented by the government and WHO will support institution and capacity building of health workforce in the country, such as establishing integrated data management and surveillance system and launching a new services availability and readiness assessment (SARA) survey, which will consolidate information on all health facilities and services available across the country.
“In addition to saving lives and preventing the spread of COVID-19, this project will help us build a legacy for Somalia’s health systems,” said Fawziya Abikar Nur, Somali minister of Health and Human Services. “We are grateful to our partners, the EU and WHO, who are supporting us to reduce the burden and effects of deadly and communicable diseases, save the lives of our community members, and make our health systems stronger and more effective.”