During Visit to COVID-19 Hospital with Minister of Health, UN Envoy Flags Need for Continuing Support and Praises Somali Health Workers

21 Jun 2020

During Visit to COVID-19 Hospital with Minister of Health, UN Envoy Flags Need for Continuing Support and Praises Somali Health Workers

Mogadishu – Today, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, accompanied the Federal Minister for Health and Social Care, Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur, on a visit to a leading Somali hospital playing a critical role in patient care management for COVID-19.  
 
The United Nations envoy called for continuing international support for the government’s response to the pandemic and praised the efforts of healthcare workers.
 
“Since the start of the pandemic, the United Nations family has supported the Somali government’s response to the COVID pandemic in a range of integrated ways. The De Martino Hospital has been central to testing, case detection and critical care support in Somalia,” said Mr. Swan.
 
“I am glad to have the chance to see first-hand the work being carried out by Somali health workers in responding to the need for patient care and critical care support. It has been a welcome opportunity to express the UN’s solidarity with these courageous individuals who are on the front-lines of Somalia’s efforts in combatting the outbreak,” he added. "I commend the health workers and the government on their tireless efforts."
  
The hospital has 71 dedicated isolation beds for COVID-19 patients and 16 ventilators, with its resources including an isolation centre. Along with other partners of the UN system in Somalia, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) continues to provide technical, logistical and operational support to the hospital with patient management and care.
 
The United Nations family’s support for Somalia’s COVID-19 response includes planning, coordination, and policy development support; capacity-building of health professionals working in laboratories and hospitals; the establishment and operation of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory in Mogadishu, Garowe and Hargeisa; logistical assistance with the supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), ventilators and other equipment; and providing operational support to the hospitals, isolation centres and laboratories.
 
According to the Federal Ministry of Health and WHO, as of 20 June, there have been more than 2,755 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Somalia, with 88 deaths. The cases include 133 healthcare professionals, with one reported death among them.