The Puntland State of Somalia is strengthening its efforts to be ready to respond to reproductive health needs during crisis situations, particularly among women and girls of reproductive age. Twenty senior reproductive health coordinators and managers from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs, UN agencies and both international and local non-governmental organisations went through a three-day practical training from 14 to16 August, 2016 on the management of Reproductive Health (RH) Kits in Crisis Situations.
To aid the proper planning of the provision of emergency reproductive health services; including RH kits, the UNFPA Humanitarian Response Strategy and Standard Operating Procedures for Humanitarian Settings outline the procedures and processes that should be applied by UNFPA country offices, according to UNFPA Humanitarian Officer in the Garowe sub-office Ridwaan Hassan Abdi.
“These guidelines are designed to facilitate a rapid response to meeting the reproductive health needs of affected populations in emergency situations,” said Abdi.
RH kits are a component of the Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP), a concept designed to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with reproductive health issues during crisis situations, particularly among women and girls of reproductive age, according to Idris Abdullahi, Reproductive Health Manager at Ministry of Health Puntland.
“It’s worth mentioning that for the first time in Puntland, we are having a training specifically focusing on RH kits. It is very crucial that our health practitioners understand that their duty is not only to ensure the availability of the kits, but also to review and monitor the use of equipment and supplies in order to ensure adequate utilisation,” said Abdullahi.
He said the three day training was not just about absorbing theories, but it was also a platform for creating an opportunity for stakeholders working in reproductive health to re-assess their capacities, practical skills as well as gain a more in-depth understanding of the RH kits and how they should be properly utilised.
“In reality, it does happen that some health care practitioners forget to check for the expiry date of the medicines and supplies in the RH kits and this poses a challenge to the beneficiaries,” said Abdullahi.
One of the training participants the regional health officer for Ministry of Health in Nugaal, Ayan Hassan, said the training was helpful as it provided a clear understanding on RH kits.
“We had theoretical and practical sessions combined where the facilitators and participants were going through all of the blocks of RH kits. We tested our knowledge on the contents of the contents of individual kits and how to use them properly. We can now utilise RH kits properly and with confidence during crisis situations following the training,” said Hassan.
The training in Garowe was conducted with UNFPA’s funding from United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The exercise was preceded in May, 2015 by a MISP training of trainers (ToT) organised jointly by UNFPA Somalia, International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. A total number of 30 people from various regions across Somalia were trained to become certified MISP trainers. In October 2015, 17 others were also trained in MISP in Hargeisa, Somaliland and 20 other national counterparts were trained in Garowe, Puntland in June 2016.