Germany is contributing USD 5 million to Somalia to enhance vaccination infrastructure in rural and hard-to-reach areas

Mogadishu, 18 July 2022: The German authorities has contributed US$5 million to Somalia to enhance the nation’s capability to ship life-saving vaccines to distant and hard-to-reach communities. The contribution is an element of UNICEF’s efforts with governments globally to carry vaccines to ‘The Last Mile’ – distant, rural and peri-urban areas and populations displaced by drought and battle.

“Germany sees the importance of reaching out to everyone and everywhere. Covid-19 has shown that this is crucial, and the current drought proves it once again,” says Martin Stein, Head of Humanitarian Aid to Somalia at the German Embassy in Nairobi. “We want fast help, however we want not neglect our efforts to construct a long-term infrastructure. Covid-19 won’t be the final well being emergency, and sadly, the present drought won’t be the final both.”

The grant will help Somalia’s Ministry of Health to develop its COVID-19 vaccination program whereas creating well being infrastructure to help scaled-up vaccination applications for different ailments resembling measles and pneumonia. The COVID-19 escalation will goal individuals residing in IDP camps, peri-urban and rural communities. The plan consists of the deployment of cell vaccinators particularly concentrating on nomadic and distant communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed the capacity of our fragile health system, affecting the delivery of essential health services. Without a strong health system, we will not be able to reach out to our rural, nomadic and internally displaced people,” HE stated Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur, Minister of Health, Federal Government of Somalia. “This generous contribution from the German government will enable the Ministry of Health to reach the last child and strengthen the delivery capacity of the health system.”

The German contribution comes at a time when solely 10 % of the inhabitants in Somalia is absolutely vaccinated towards COVID-19, effectively under the WHO goal of 70 % by mid-2022. Inequalities are additionally stark, as solely 11 % of these vaccinated reside in rural areas, camps for internally displaced individuals and nomadic communities.

People displaced by the drought and battle reside in overcrowded camps and lack fundamental facilities resembling water and sanitation. These circumstances make it troublesome for them to adjust to COVID-19 preventive measures, predisposing them to an infection.

“We know that 26 percent of the Somali population is nomadic, and the country now has around 800,000 people internally displaced by the drought,” UNICEF consultant Wafaa Saeed stated. “We thank the Government of Germany for this generous and timely contribution. In our quest to vaccinate all children and women in Somalia, this grant will ensure that those most in need of these services are reached and no one is left behind.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the difficulties in reaching marginalized populations in Somalia with very important, life-saving vaccinations. The ongoing drought in massive elements of the nation has not solely compelled individuals to depart their houses, but additionally elevated malnutrition amongst kids and ailments resembling measles and cholera.

The ‘Last Mile Initiative’ goals to deal with these challenges by increasing the chilly chain, the system of fridges, freezers, coolers and vaccine carriers used to retailer, deal with and transport vaccines in a temperature-controlled setting. Mobile vaccinators will take vaccination providers near communities and have the flexibleness required to achieve populations on the transfer.

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