Essential health services in Somalia could be suspended soon: UNICEF

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A young girl with her baby brother in an IDP camp near the town of Jowhar, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that it will be forced to suspend its essential health services in Somalia if additional funding is not made available within one month.

Some three million Somali are currently receiving health assistance, principally in the centre and in the south of the country.

In general, more than 70 per cent of healthcare in Somalia is being provided by UNICEF and its partners, including supplies of medicines, all vaccines, cold chain, the wages of employees, training of health workers, fuel for generators of water and medical equipment.

UNICEF's suspension of health services would have a huge impact on the children, according to its spokesperson Christophe Boulierac.

"More than 620,000 children would no longer have access to free vaccinations and medical services such as basic treatment for diarrhoea and pneumonia. The suspension would also affect the supply of antibiotics, pre-natal services currently benefiting 280,000 pregnant women and other services for 13,000 women of childbearing age."  (28″)

UNICEF needs about $15 million to continue its essential health services but has only received 10 per cent of its needs.

Nine million dollars alone are needed urgently to intensify treatment and care for 50,000 children who are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Without this increase in support, UNICEF notes, about 200,000 children under five could die from malnutrition next year.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’45″


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