By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Access to health facilities is a critical problem afflicting citizens.
This was revealed by the minister of Health Dr Hussein Mohamed Hog while closing a National Health Strategic workshop at a Hargeisa hotel where he informed that improved access to medical health is a major component of his ministry’s strategies.
The 2 days national health strategic conference pooled its participants from the ministry of health and the over 30 international and local non governmental organizations as well as UN agencies that partner the health ministry.
Despite the availability of 94 public health facilities in the country Dr Hog said that citizens continue to face access difficulties due to the distances between the facilities.
According to the health minister there are 87 MCHs and 7 regional hospitals nationwide with a minimum distance of 70kms between one facility to another, said he, “Imagine the difficulties encountered by a weak mother and her sick child in need of medical attention”
While terming the distances as a critical issue for the health ministry, Dr Hog said that the problem is exacerbated by the fact that 50% of the MCHs are poorly equipped and staffed thus the indicators that place Somaliland fifth among countries with the highest rate of infant mortality worldwide.
In order to reverse thus trend thus achieve the governments strategies of availing each citizen easily accessible medical facilities by 2015 the health minister urged all its partners to aligned their diversified health development objectives with those of the national health strategic plan.
Said he, “If we harness and maximize all our resources directed to health development we shall be able to improve the survival rate in the country”
The ministry of health wants its partners to enhance coordination, info sharing and alignment with strategic plan In order to improve on prevailing low rate of survival.
While urging a coordinated approach between the government and donors Dr Hog said that proper coordination shall enable a meaningful impact thus the availability of health facilities at ease for citizens who reside within the country that encompasses 137,600 Kms squared.
The outcomes of the Health strategic workshop that also revealed a need for improved responsibility by health personnel recommended a new chapter as pertains to the commitment to duties as well as a moral and ethical approach to service provision.
The objectives of the 2 days workshop which were for the ministry of health to share its National Health Strategic plan with partners saw the plan for 2013-2015 embraced by all and accords reached as per the alignment of activities by both local and international health sector development bodies