Internal conflict spanning more than two decades has resulted in the disintegration of Somalia’s infrastructure and significantly weakened the government’s capacity to respond to the basic needs of the population, such as access to clean water and appropriate sanitation facilities, adequate healthcare and effective security services.
The Somali Red Crescent Society is using a twin-track approach to bridge the gap between the formal health system and the community health system and provide critical reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services.
Through its network of 4,600 volunteers and 68 maternal and child health outpatients clinics and 29 mobile health units, the Somali Red Crescent Society is providing critical health services to vulnerable populations.
The Somali Red Crescent Society’s coverage for maternal- and child-related services is higher than the national average.
1 in 12 women dies due to pregnancy-related reasons in Somalia*. According to UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, the number of women attending three or more antenatal care visits in Somaliland and Puntland stands at 26 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively. In Somali Red Crescent Society’s catchment area, 70 per cent of pregnant women in Somaliland and 65 per cent in Puntland and Central and South Somalia are going for 3 or more antenatal care visits.
* Source: UNICEF, January 2013
The Somali Red Crescent Society works with and supports traditional birth attendants. Traditional birth attendants form a critical link between the community and the health system since they are the ones who provide information on births and accompany women in labour to the clinic for deliveries. The percentage of women delivering babies at a facility in Somaliland and Puntland stands at 47 per cent (29 per cent at a Red Crescent facility) and 40 per cent (35 per cent at a Red Crescent facility), respectively.
Somalia ranks fourth in terms of under-five mortality*. 1 in 10 children dies before their first birthday.
Trained volunteers, who live in the same community as the local population and speak the same language, help reach the most inaccessible, poor and marginalized communities. They make door-to-door visits to sensitize parents on the benefits of immunization. A survey carried out by the National Society shows that 49 per cent of the households in Somaliland, 32 per cent in Puntland, and 34 per cent in South and Central Somalia have cards that show vaccination records for the children.
*Source: UNICEF, January 2013
1 in 5 children is acutely malnourished in most regions of Somalia*.
The Somali Red Crescent Society clinics routinely provide nutrition services to all under-five children irrespective of their nutrition status. Severely malnourished children without complications are admitted to the outpatient therapeutic feeding programme for treatment, while those with complications are referred to facilities managed by other partners that run supplementary feeding programmes.
*Source: UNICEF, January 2013