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J Infect Dis. 2012 Mar;205 Suppl 1:S126-33. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir776.

Somalia: supporting the child survival agenda when routine health service is broken.

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1
UNICEF Somalia Support Center, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Abstract

Somalia, one of the most unstable countries in the world, has been without a permanent government for nearly 2 decades. With a health system in total disarray, coverage of basic health interventions remains low and, maternal and child mortality is among the highest in the world. Health partners jointly outlined an integrated package of critical child survival interventions to be delivered through a population-based delivery strategy known as Child Health Days (CHDs), to reduce child mortality. Using this strategy, key child survival interventions are delivered to the community with an objective of reaching children <5 years and women of childbearing age in all districts of Somalia every 6 months. Through this strategy, immunization services were reached in remote areas, and coverage disparity between the urban and rural areas was reduced from 17% (42% urban and 25% rural) to 10% (50% urban and 60% rural). In addition, infants were reached with a third dose of diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, achieving 51% coverage during 2009 and 66% in 2010. This paper summarizes the challenges of scaling up child interventions in the troubled context of Somalia by reviewing the planning, implementation, and achievements of CHDs as well as reflecting on challenges for the future of child survival in Somalia.

PMID:
22315380
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/jir776
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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