UN: WHO says health needs on rise in Somalia, as funding hits new low

New York, US (PANA) - Somalia, a country where every two hours a mother dies due to pregnancy complications, is facing cuts in life-saving health services because of the lowest funding levels in seven years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A UN statement in New York on Friday, quoted WHO Representative for Somalia Dr. Ghulam Popal as saying: "We cannot afford to let Somalia slide back into a humanitarian crisis, otherwise, we would undermine all gains made until today."

He noted that, UN health partners in Somalia were expressing concern that they would face difficulties in continuing to provide life-saving health services at the scale required as a result of declining humanitarian funding for 2015 and the forecast for 2016.

He said that lack of funding for UN’s humanitarian response plan in 2015 had left more than 1.5 million people cut off from primary or secondary health care services.

"As of July 2015, out of a required US$71.5 million, only US$6.1 million (8.5 per cent) has been received, the lowest since 2008, despite ongoing early warnings and appeals for adequate funding," the WHO official disclosed.

According to WHO, there are currently 3.2 million people in need of humanitarian aid in Somalia, where every 2 hours a mother dies due to pregnancy complications, every hour, 8 Somali children below the age of 5 die, one in 4 children suffers from chronic malnourishment and only 1 in 3 Somalis have access to safe water.

It stated: "Over the past 3 months, at least 10 hospitals in Somalia have either been closed or have majorly curtailed their services across the country, and at least three other hospitals are at risk of closure in the near future."

The UN health agency also said that, basic health posts and clinics were currently struggling to meet primary health needs, and many aid agencies had withdrawn health workers from high-need areas.
-0- PANA AA/MA 24July2015

24 july 2015 21:54:25

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