Health care delivery in Somalia is in critical state with some of the worst health indicators. WHO estimates 61 per 1,000 new-born infants die within their first month of life which is the highest neonatal mortality rate in the world.
Looking at the situation in Somaliland, the cases is more of the same with most new born infants developing complications after they are born or some dying immediately after delivery. However such controllable issues may soon become a thing of the past with the new Neonatal wing established at the Hargeisa Group Hospital. With the assistance from the Government of Finland, IOM has placed two qualified neonatal nurses at the hospital who take care of the newborn babies ensuring that both the child’s welfare and the mother are well taken care of before the mother is discharged from the clinic.
Together with other medical professionals attached to the hospital, newborn’s health records are always tracked down to ensure the child health is well taken care off. Additionally nutritional advice is always given to the mothers free of charge whenever they pay a visit to the hospital.
A recent visit to the Neonatal unit showed the nurses together with other medical professional giving assistance to a small baby who had been brought to the hospital and upon admission, the baby was diagnosed with Sepsis and Asphyxia which was caused by meconium aspiration (Presence of meconium and amniotic fluid in the baby’s lungs) The child, under close monitoring by Ms. Ifrah Ahmed, a nurse at the hospital, received treatment for free and was discharged after he had fully recovered.
“I am happy my baby is recuperating. At first I found it difficult seeing my child in deep pain and experiencing difficulty in breathing considering I didn’t have enough money to take him to the hospital. Said Ms Shabcan Adan, the mother to the baby during a visit by IOM MIDA team. Through the help of the nurses here at the clinic, my child has responded well to medication and soon we will be leaving the hospital with joy” Adds Ms Shabcan.
Thanks to the establishment of neonatal unit improved delivery services, the neonatal mortality at the hospital has decreased from 24 per cent to 5 per cent.
Since the placement of the nurses at the hospital in 2015, under MIDA FINNSOM a project run by IOM Somalia, over 1350 mothers have benefited from the services at the hospital
IOM MIDA FINNSOM is funded by the government of Finland.
 WHO Global Health Observatory (GHO) data: Under-five mortality. Available from http://www.who.int/gho/child_health/mortality/mortality_under_five_text/en/