Somalia

A targeted outbreak response: reaching out to Somalia’s high-risk populations

A targeted outbreak response: reaching out to Somalia’s high-risk populations19 December 2018 - Since polio was confirmed in Somalia in late 2017, health authorities have led a complex response to twin outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 and type 3 (cVDPV2 and cVDPV3), paying special attention to high-risk populations: nomads, internally displaced people (IDPs), and people living in peri-urban slums and rural areas.

Somalia has a rich culture of people leading pastoral lifestyles, raising livestock and moving with them as the seasons and the weather change. Nomadism has a long history in Somalia and nomads have a special place in Somali society: almost a third of Somalia’s people are nomads. According to an expert from the Core Group Polio Project, which focuses on vaccinating children from families living along the borders of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, Somane Mohamed, communities living in these areas share cultural, family and economic ties. They do not observe formal international borders – just like the poliovirus. For health workers, this context poses a significant challenge: How can you be sure you have vaccinated every last child when so many children are on the move?

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Events

WHO takes strides to eliminate measles and rubella in Somalia

29 May 2018 – Key stakeholders joined hands to draft a 5-year plan to reduce the incidence and mortality of measles and rubella in Somalia at a 3-day planning workshop convened...

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Nationwide measles immunization campaign launched in Somalia

18 November 2015 – A nationwide measles vaccination campaign has been launched in Somalia, aiming to reach 4.4 million children aged between 9 months and 10 years. Vaccinations will be provided through...

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In focus

Situation reports on Horn of Africa outbreak response

Situation update No new human cases of cVDPV types 2 or 3 have been reported in the Horn of Africa since the previous situation report. The total remains 12 cases of...

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Key updates, 20 December 2018 No new human cases reported from Somalia for three consecutive weeks. The total number of cases remains 12: five cVDPV2 cases, six cVDPV3 cases, and one...

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)12 316
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 732
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 55.4

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

See Somalia country profile

Regional Health Observatory

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WHO Representative
WHO Liaison Office for Somalia in Nairobi
PO Box 63565
Nairobi