The World Health Organization (WHO) today supported the Somali Federal Ministry of Health with a shipment of over 32 tons of medicines and medical supplies to be prepositioned in districts of the Banadir region/Mogadishu as well as the districts of Kismayo, Baidoa, Adado, Baladwayne, and Hudur.

The shipment includes interagency emergency health kits, trauma kits, malaria kits, diarrhoea kits, cholera peripheral, community, and hardware kits, and Wagtech water test kits. The kits include a variety of treatment categories such as antibiotics, IV fluids with infusion administration sets, electrolytes, oral rehydration solutions, analgesics, anesthetics, diuretics, antiseptics, anti-asthma drugs. The consignment also contains medical and surgical supplies like surgical instrumental sets, different kinds of plasters, cotton wool, gauze swabs, rubber and elastic bandages, surgical gloves, catheters, and many other supplementary items.

“The shortage of medicines in health facilities is immense and requires the efforts of WHO and health partners to support the Ministry of Health in addressing this critical gap,” said Dr Ghulam Popal, WHO Representative to Somalia. “We will continue coordination with the Ministry of Health to ensure the availability of medical treatment services and accessibility of these services to as much of the population as possible,” Dr Popal added.

This shipment, which will be sufficient for the needs of a population of approximately 200 000 for a period of nine months (January–September 2018), has been arranged in line with the preparedness plan of the joint WHO and Ministry of Health rapid response to seasonal outbreaks and drought emergencies in different parts of Somalia.

As of November 2017, WHO has provided the Somali Federal Ministry of Health with over 105 tons of medicines and medical supplies distributed to health facilities in different parts of the country. Moreover, increased access to emergency medical supplies and capacity-building activities have improved the medical supply chain and storage conditions in Somalia. This year, over 16 national trainers were trained in cascade training workshops on storage of emergency supplies and health commodities in a number of drought- and acute watery diarrhoea/cholera-affected areas of the country.

WHO’s support of medicine and medical supplies in Somalia has been made possible through generous contributions from the Federal Government of Germany, the United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).