Home / Our Work / Country Programmes / Somalia/Somaliland
Hero image


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.

Hero image

In Somalia/Somaliland we proudly partner with:

  • Ministries of Health in Somalia and Somaliland,
  • King’s Centre for Global Health,
  • Amoud University Edna Aden University,
  • Teaching Hospital Medicine Africa University of Hargeisa,
  • Vision Quest Consulting.

For further information about THET’s work in Somalia/Somaliland, please contact our Country Programme Coordinator, Kat Brassington.

Current and Recent Projects:

Prepared for Practice Project (2017-2021)

Part of the SPHEIR – Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform. Funded by DFID and managed by the British Council.

AIM: The project seeks to address Somaliland’s health workforce crisis, where teaching institutions struggle to produce medical, nursing and midwifery graduates who are adequately prepared for real world situations.

The project delivers an extensive, integrated programme including interactive online students teaching, blended faculty training to improve teaching skills, an online support network for postgraduates, and national policy improvements.

Partners: King’s Centre for Global Health, Amoud University, Edna Aden University and Teaching Hospital, Medicine Africa University of Hargeisa

Impact: By 2021, graduates from the three schools will show increased clinical reasoning ability and clinical competency. They will be more confident entering clinical practice and feel supported in their continued learning.

The method of practice-oriented teaching and assessment will become systemic nation-wide, including objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), written exams and logbooks. The teaching faculties will demonstrate career progression through a blended certificate, degree and masters in health education.

Underlining these improvements will be a development in the governance and management of higher education at the national level. A national standard for graduates will be agreed and a healthcare education policy endorsed, with the regulatory bodies and ministerial departments supported to collaborate effectively.

Formation of Plan for Nutrition HR Development in Somalia (2017)

Funded by UNICEF.

AIM: Following a scoping assessment in nutrition care among frontline health workers in 2015, this project aims to develop a capacity development strategic paper and costed action plan that will set out a clear path for developing human resources in nutrition care in Somalia and Somaliland.

Partner: Vision Quest Consulting

Impact: The strategic paper and costed action plan will enable Ministries of Health in Somalia and Somaliland, and UNICEF to improve nutrition services in the country. This will include the incorporation of nutrition into the curriculum for all health workers and updating the job descriptions of staff to include responsibilities for nutrition.

SHINE (2018)

Funded by DFID.

AIM: To provide access to basic health and nutrition services as defined by the Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) to 2 million inhabitants of Somalia and Somaliland and strengthen the capacity of Somalia and Somaliland’s Health Authorities to oversee, coordinate, plan and manage the implementation of essential health service provision as defined in the EPHS framework. The programme aims to strengthen the Health Authorities’ oversight of basic service delivery and contribute to the wider state building agenda.

Partner: Mott MacDonald

Impact: This project will lead to improvements in EPHS management and the EPHS will become decentralised enabling greater ownership which will result in sustainability.