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Somalia Aims To Provide Universal Basic Health Care By 2016

“Every Somali citizen will have access to basic health care by 2016 if a new, government-led strategic plan achieves its aims,” IRIN reports. The government launched the Health Sector Strategic Plans (HSSPs) for each of the country’s zones on March 21, marking “a move away from the emergency-level health provision that has been the norm in the country for over 20 years and towards more mainstream, national health systems,” the news service writes. Marina Madeo, who coordinates the Somali health sector, “noted that for now, as the government continued to build its ability to handle health care, large parallel health programs such as immunization would continue to be handled by U.N. agencies,” IRIN states, adding, “The government and its partners will also seek public-private partnerships with the country’s vibrant private health sector.”

“The HSSPs are expected to make improvements to health financing, human resources for health, drugs and the country’s health infrastructure, among other things,” IRIN reports. According to the news service, “The four-year strategies are expected to cost $350 million, 70 to 75 percent of which will be spent on actual health services” and “[s]ome $50 million has already been raised; key donors include the Australian, Swedish, U.K. and U.S. governments” (3/22).