Somalia continues to face cyclical health challenges due to poor health infrastructure and a lack of a functioning health system. Communities across the south-central regional zone face outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea, malaria, and other diseases as a consequence of unsafe water and poor sanitation. Poor access to child health services such as immunisation, screening, and treatment services, together with poor access  to  skilled  birth  attendance  or  emergency  obstetric  care, increases the risk of child and maternal morbidity and mortality, which is among the highest in the world in Somalia.

HIRDA works to improve community health outcomes with a focus on addressing the preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in the communities we serve. We utilise an integrated approach to complement the efforts of government departments, UNICEF and WHO resources and technical support. Community ownership and capacity are also at the forefront of our efforts to help improve health practices and detect and treat illnesses in an effective and timely manner. We also ensure that our approach is agile and flexible to meet changing needs and priorities.

HIRDA Health Programming Objectives:
  1. Improve the quality of primary health care, the responsiveness of service delivery, & maternal and child health outcomes, emphasising primary and preventive care linked with community prevention services.
  2. Ensure equal access to quality care and treatment for all community members and vulnerable
  3. Encourage political and societal support for reproductive health and family planning education and services in
  4. Develop and     strengthen      HIRDA     health     staff     capacity      across communities;  build  capacity  for  community  health
  5. Conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation for accurately targeted interventions  and  impact  assessment.
Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

HIRDA works closely with the Ministry of Health to increase access to essential antenatal care services (ANC) through a network of MCH facilities and also supports assisted deliveries and post-natal follow-up for  mothers  and  infants,  including  growth  monitoring  and immunisation. Ultimately, our efforts are geared towards reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in Somalia.

One of the most effective approaches for maternal and child health care for individuals living in remote areas is the establishment of local mother and child care centres. Care centres are run and managed by the community in a sustainable way that builds resilience and enhances community-based knowledge and education for the prevention and management of common diseases at the village level. HIRDA provides regular support and supervision to the health posts, as well as on-job training and procurement of basic monthly medical supplies.

Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Reproductive health and family planning remain a high priority in Somalia, despite being a taboo subject in many remote communities. HIRDA works closely with communities and local partners to raise awareness and destigmatise and encourage access and provision of family planning services to reduce maternal deaths.

Our reproductive health work also addresses other factors affecting women’s  health,  including  the  availability  of  skilled  care  during childbirth due to extreme poverty.

HIRDA is also coordinating staff efforts to improve infant morbidity and mortality through child immunisation programs to reduce the burden of healthcare-associated infections.

HIRDA is expanding its role beyond being a primary health-care provision as an agency that positively promotes community education and attention to quality care for its beneficiaries. HIRDA staff and volunteers regularly receive technical and leadership training to build effective disease prevention and management skills as a fundamental function of our work in Somalia.