Delivery of maternal health services in Somalia is greatly hampered by a lack of well-trained health personnel, worsened by an exodus of health workers during the last two decades of conflicts. Now the tide might be turning.
During 2012 the Transitional Federal Government forces have taken major steps in making Mogadishu a safer place. Therefore, it was with great joy when UNFPA finally could open the first Post-basic midwifery school in the war thorn city.
Many of the nurses who have been trained in Somalia have not had a good exposure in midwifery and emergency obstetric care, because much of the training is being done so in classes, and the practical sessions give little exposure since many deliveries are still being done home or by traditional birth attendants.
As well as the need to increase the overall number of health workers, it is also essential to provide additional training to existing personnel in order to further build their capacity in core areas such as antenatal and postnatal care, emergency obstetric care and other sexual and reproductive health interventions.
The course is based on the curriculum developed by UNFPA in Somaliland, and are designed to prepare competent midwives especially in post basic midwifery, reproductive health, mother and child care, and community health in general.
Applications for the course were received at the Ministry of Health after announcements were made over two local radio stations. 40 nurses applied and after an entrance examination, 20 students were selected for twelve months long course.
UNFPA in partnership with WAHA (Women and Health Alliance International) works in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on this project.