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Somalia continues to suffer from the effects of almost thirty years of civil war which has raged across all three largely autonomous zones: Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.

Blue leaf
Blue leaf

Lack of access to primary health care, inadequate quality of service provision, poor hygiene and sanitation, and low supply levels are just some of the factors which contribute to the countries poor health indicators.

During the first thirteen years of the civil conflict (until 2003), not a single health training facility was operational and thus no health professionals of any cadre were produced. As a result there are just 0.29 doctors, nurses and midwives per 1000 population, whilst the World Health Organization recommends a minimum staffing of 2.3 per 1000 in order to ensure adequate health care provision.

THET has been working to improve the capacity of Somalia and Somaliland health workforce since 2000 and in 2011 opened a Country Office in Hargeisa.

Much of our work in Somaliland has been carried out in partnership with King’s Centre for Global Health. For 18 unbroken years we have led on projects as part of the Health Consortium for the Somali People (HCS), a programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

Somaliland also has one of the worst maternal and child mortality rates in the world. With the majority of the population living in isolated, rural areas of the country, many pregnant women are unable to access healthcare. Community Health Workers (CHWs) can provide a life-line to these communities. As such, THET is training members of remote villages to become CHWs and support their communities with healthcare services they would otherwise not receive.


Nursing & midwifery BA Curricula review, Nursing and Midwifery Schools Assessment (2021 – 2022)

Funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) 

AIM: To review the national Nursing and Midwifery curricula (BA) in Somaliland and provide financial support to the National Health Professions Commission (NHPC) to conduct the Nursing and Midwifery school assessments at Universities and Colleges.

IMPACT: An increase in the number of Nursing and Midwifery school assessments and revised curricula based on international standards. The faculty of Nursing and Midwifery will have trained a number of “Trainers of Trainers” on the harmonised curricula.

PARTNERS: Kings Global Health, Ministry of Health Development (MoHD), National Health Professions Commission (NHPC)

Future International Workforce Programme (2021 – 2022)

Funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

AIM: This project aims to help address the global shortage of quality health workers, especially nurses, by:

  • Delivering training that leads to nurse qualifications to refugees/displaced people
  • Supporting governments to improve their health workforce management
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of healthcare workers, across cadres and health themes, leading to an increase in better trained health workers
  • Increasing access to vital services for the poorest and most vulnerable, including the refugee population, across all regions of Somaliland.

IMPACT: Four UK-Somaliland Health Partnerships will be supported to deliver health systems strengthening activities across Somaliland, responding to nationally identified priorities and improving skills and knowledge within the health workforce. These projects will deliver capacity development initiatives to at least 208 healthcare professionals, working across 7 regions of Somaliland, and targeting at least 21 health delivery institutions. THET will work closely with the Somaliland Ministry of Health to revise and develop nursing and midwifery curricula, ready to be implemented nationally by Somaliland nursing and midwifery faculty.

PARTNERS: Somaliland Ministry of Health Development, King’s Global Health Partnerships, Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association, Borama Regional Hospital, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Somaliland Medical Association, Coventry University in collaboration with Nursing Now, Edna Adnan University and Hospital, University of Wolverhampton and the University of Burao

Saving Mothers at Delivery project (2021 – 2022)

Funded by Johnson & Johnson

AIM: To improve emergency surgical obstetric procedures and quality of care in identified facilities. The project will pilot a training programme to provide multi-professional team-based training at Hargeisa Group Hospital (HGH) and at District Hospital level.

IMPACT: Appropriate referrals and improved capacity of Emergency Obstetric Surgical Teams that results in timely and quality care. Expert and Mentor Trainers will be empowered and equipped to deliver training and supply mentorship.

PARTNERS: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Lifebox Foundation and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists

Partnerships for quality maternal, obstetric, and neonatal care for marginalised women (2021 – 2022)

Funded by Johnson and Johnson and the Fraxinus Trust

AIM: To help marginalised women in urban and rural areas within the Maroodi-Jeex region access improved quality maternal, obstetric and new-born care at public health facilities at community level.

IMPACT: Women’s health champions will mobilise and promote women’s health education amongst communities. Health workers in primary health facilities will be trained to deliver respectful, prompt emergency maternal and obstetric care.

PARTNERS: Somaliland Nurses and Midwifery Association, Nagaad

For more information about our work in Somalia/Somaliland, please contact our Programmes Coordinator, Kat Brassington, on katharina.brassington@thet.org.