THET has been working in partnership training health workers and strengthening the health system of Somaliland since 2000.
In 2000, THET and Kings College Hospital (UK) began working with health training Institutions in Somaliland to improve the skills and knowledge of health care providers. THET works in partnership with health training Institutions, health professional associations and the Ministry of Health by harnessing invaluable experience of UK partners to improve the health care system. THET Somaliland takes an integrated approach to Human Resources for Health and works at three levels:
• Individual health workers
• Training institutions and professional associations
Years of civil struggle and political instability completely destroyed Somaliland’s infrastructure and led to the collapse of the health system in the country. The loss of qualified health professionals and the disruption to human resources development led to the loss of a generation of trained staff. Consequently, Somaliland suffered from severe shortage of health professionals with appropriate skills and experience, and continues to do so to this day. After declaration of independence in 1991 and despite a lack of international recognition, Somaliland has succeeded in gaining significant political stability. Faced with multiple challenges, work to rebuild the country’s infrastructure including the health sector started and is on course and improving steadily.
Health and demographic data in Somaliland is largely lacking; however, according to the UN, the country has some of the worst health and nutritional indicators in the world and is unlikely to reach the health related MDGs with women, girls and the poorest. Women’s, adolescent girls’ and children’s health and access to health care are disproportionately affected, with particular risks to sexual and gender based violence. UNDP’s 2000 Human Development Report ranked Somalia lowest globally, in all health indicators except life expectancy.
Lack of access to primary health care, inadequate quality of service provision, poor hygiene, sanitation, and low supply levels are just some of the factors, which contribute to these desperately poor health indicators. The human resource deficit in all regions is enormous. Acute skilled staff shortages, structural fragmentation, insufficient and distorted incentives to motivate staff, limited supervision and mostly ad-hoc management arrangements are issues in all areas. Although Somaliland’s health authorities are developing strategies and tools for improved governance of the sector, huge gaps are still evident, necessitating continued capacity building and support.
Better quality teaching and training for middle level health workers and doctors in Somaliland, with a special focus on Medical Doctors, Clinical Officers, Community Health Workers (CHWs), nurses and midwives. Our partnership provides support to health institutes through medical training, refresher courses for tutors, specialist gap filling training, curriculum review and development, examination support, the provision of essential teaching equipment and materials and institution strengthening support.
Strong partner institutions with improved skills and resources, better able to carry out their mandate within the Somaliland health sector. The Somaliland programme, through our partnership with King’s College Hospital, provides clinical teaching, continuous professional development, support and supervision in specialties as requested by our partners in Somaliland. This is in addition to the provision of on-going support for sustainable change through building skills for managers, health training institutions, professional associations and medical faculties.
Strengthened governance structures, managing and supporting the quality delivery of health services in Somaliland. THET works directly with the Somaliland Ministry of Health and health system regulatory body in Somaliland. THET has supported the strengthening of health system governance by providing expert support to develop policies, technical tools, and regulatory frameworks.