Rural Areas in Hargeisa, Somaliland Receive Improved Access to Health Care Services

Somaliland – As with many post-conflict countries, Somaliland is facing a number of challenges in the health sector including limited access to health care facilities and services especially in the rural areas. The IOM mission in Somalia is committed to improving the health conditions of migrants and host communities through better health service delivery and capacity building by promoting  equal access to migrant-friendly and comprehensive health care services.

Under the emergency drought response project funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), IOM’s mobile health teams have provided health services to communities in the Maroodijeex region of Somaliland. 

As part of the project activities, the mobile teams conducted frequent outreach activities to provide free outpatient consultations to the general population (children and adults), ante-natal care services for pregnant mothers and deliveries, screening of children for malnutrition cases, provision of free medication to identified cases and health information and education to the general public.

Mohamed Ahmed Haybe, a 62-year-old male living in Diinqal village, is one of the beneficiaries of the health outreach activities. Prior to the outreach, he had recurrent headaches, high blood pressure, and constant pain in his joints that not only robbed him of his night’s sleep but also prevented him from working.

Mohamed, who has been ailing for some time, came to know of the health services provided by the mobile teams in the neighborhood through his daughter. He asked his daughter to approach the outreach medical team and request them for a home visit, a request that was granted by the team leader of the outreach mission. Mohamed’s home was a kilometer away from the location where the mobile health teams had set up a health camp.

“We do not have health services in this area and Hargeisa (the nearest and most accessible location of a health facility) is far from us. Thank you for visiting and coming to see how we are doing,” says Mohamed to the medical team.

During the visit to Mohamed’s home, the health team conducted regular examinations and checkups and could see visible symptoms of a person who has been sick for some time.

“I am happy the visiting medical teams restored my health. They listened carefully to my health concerns, checked my blood pressure and informed me that I have a problem called hypertension. They gave me some medication and advice on how to manage it. I felt better on the same day and resumed work after two days,” adds Mohamed.

The medical team gave him medication and additional information about his health condition. They provided advice on how to manage, treat, and control high blood pressure, necessary dietary modifications and lifestyle changes.

The team asked Mohamed if he had anything to add. He says: “I understand the support is temporary. I would like to request the medical team, Ministry of Health and IOM to continue with such health services as they are helpful to people like us.”

IOM continues to improve health conditions for migrants and host communities in rural areas through better health service delivery, and promotes equitable access to comprehensive health care services.

Written by Dr. Omar Abdikadir Ismail, Programme Assistant, Migration Health Division (MHD), IOM Somalia, Tel: +252 63 4702323, Email: Edited by Joseah Mutai, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.