A UK funded health and nutrition programme targeting populations in Banaadir and Galagaduud regions was launched Monday.
The programme which will focus on mainly on women, children and vulnerable groups aims at improving the health and nutrition status of Somalis. The programme will also be instrumental in stemming high mortality rates among women and children in Somalia.
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health and the UK aid agency UKaid said the Somali Health and Nutrition (SHINE) will be instrumental in ‘strengthening health systems and increasing access to quality health services for Somalis’.
Health minister Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur lauded the programme noting the government will play the lead role in design, planning and implementation of the programme.
“The Ministry of Health and Human Services, Federal Republic of Somalia, feels ownership in SHINE Supply programme. The UK government through DFID and Mott Macdonald have assured government ownership by engaging and ensuring that the government is in the driving seat throughout the design, planning and implementation phases,” said Dr. Nur.
She called on partners to draw lessons from ‘what can work better for government engagement, ownership and leadership in its development agenda”.
On her part, UK Deputy Head of Mission, Mary Shockledge said the programme demonstrated her country’s crucial role in Somalia’s health sector.
“This programme represents an important part of the UK’s investment in the Somali health sector and as the lead bilateral donor, the UK is strongly committed to working with the government to improve the health of the Somali people.”
“We welcome the Somali government’s commitment to this programme which will support the delivery of essential lifesaving services to reach women, children and the most vulnerable”
The SHINE programme which runs from 2016 to 2021 has so far reached 8795 women with modern contraceptive methods, supported over 160,000 women deliver with the help of a skilled birth attendant and also provided vaccination to over 400,000 children under five against life threatening conditions (Pentavalent).
Over 1 million women and children under five with access to nutrition and over 140,000 women have been able to attend two or more ante-natal visits as a result of the SHINE programme.
The programme will be implemented by Mercy USA in Galgadud while the aid group Action Against Hunger (AAH) will implement the same in Banaadir region.