GENEVA, Switzerland, – African Press Organization (APO) –IOM and Puntland’s Ministry of Health this week jointly opened a mobile health clinic that will cater for some 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their surrounding host communities in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, State of Somalia.
The mobile clinic, funded by Japan, will offer essential primary health care services, including routine consultations and free medicines for IDPs and local populations in Jowle Shabelle and other IDP settlements run by Garowe municipality and Puntland’s Ministry of Interior. Other services will include programmes on immunization, safe motherhood, nutrition, communicable disease control, health promotion and health education.
Garowe’s IDP population has grown rapidly over the past seven years due to an influx of people fleeing insecurity in South Central Somalia. The devastating drought in 2011, combined with a lack of proper sanitation and a shortage of affordable health care, has made the IDPs particularly vulnerable to preventable diseases.
The mobile clinic will improve access to basic primary health care services for some of the most vulnerable groups in the region.
“In the past, many IDP communities in and around settlements on the outskirts of Garowe had limited access to basic health services and walked long distances in search of basic health care services. In addition to this clinic, IOM has also trained Garowe mobile health care service providers. It has done a lot for our community, but there is still a critical need for more humanitarian assistance,” says Abdirisack Hersi Hassan, the Director General of Puntland’s Ministry of Health.
For almost three years, IOM has worked closely with the Puntland AIDS Commission and Puntland’s Ministry of Health to run HIV awareness and stigma reduction programmes. As part of its psycho-social support programme, IOM has also distributed 600 Panasonic solar lanterns in IDP settlements across Puntland in an effort to reduce the risk sexual and gender-based violence against women at night.
International Office of Migration (IOM)
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