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I never knew giving birth could be like this

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Somalia’s civil war erupted in 1991 essentially devastating the already fragile public health sector
and leaving up to 80% of the population without access to basic health services. In regard to the
confirmed COVID-19 cases in Somalia, as of 17 May 2020 Somalia health officials have reported a
total of 1,421 laboratory confirmed cases and 56 deaths and 152 recoveries across the country. The
rising numbers are reported to be community transmission. With an already poor health system,
further spread of the virus could only worsen Somalia’s situation and will threaten the essential
health service delivery.
In addition to COVID-19, the country is facing a flood situation that has been reported in many parts
of the country. According to FAO-managed Somali Water and Land Information Management
(SWALIM), the 2020 Gu’ rains (April-June) have intensified across Somalia, triggering flash flooding in
South West State, Jubaland, Banadir, Puntland and Somaliland from 20 to 23 April. Also, there are
reports of riverine flooding in Jubaland. Futhermore, the country is also working to contain a desert
locust infestation which has impacted food security. Somalia already has one of the highest

maternal mortality rates in the world; an estimated one out of every 22 women is likely to die due to
pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. The maternal mortality ratio stood at 732 deaths per
100,000 live births in 2018 and high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, and the lowest
contraceptive prevalence rate in the world, women’s reproductive health indices in Somalia prove
alarming.
In response to this, READO with the support of UNFPA and in collaboration with the Ministry of
Health of the Federal Government and MoH-SWS are doing the best in increasing the accessibility of
quality health service to the needy communities in Hudur and Dinsor districts. The objective is to
reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rate by implementing BEmONC and sexual reproductive
health.

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