Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) with a Focus on Increasing Human Resources for Health Capacity

Somaliland, 2007-2010

In 2007, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Foto-Cewek) and DFID entered into a contract for the funding of the UK Consortium support to HSS in the Somali Republic through phased interventions with an initial focus on Somaliland. LATH are subcontracted by Foto-Cewek as the managing agency for the delivery of a three year plan relating to the development of Human Resources for Health (HRH) in Somaliland with a focus on formal health worker training, improving the quality of Primary Health Care (PHC) and raising awareness of health issues through the development of health communications. 

LATH, the Tropical Health Education Trust-Kings College Hospital (THET-KCH), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists International Office (RCOGIO), Health Unlimited (HU) and Save the Children-UK (SC-UK) formed a consortium  for the development and delivery of the programme in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Labour (MOHL).

This programme is designed to strengthen human resource capacity and lay the foundation for the long-term redevelopment of the health sector in Somaliland. Although some resources are devoted to interim measures that will help boost current training standards, the main focus is on long term change and involves developing standard training curricula for various categories of health workers. Building the capacity of professional associations and tackling issues of regulation is another key strand of the programme. Information dissemination is another key component which will ensure that interventions being undertaken are communicated and promoted to the widercommunity.

Messages about the changes being brought about by  the HSSP programme are being communicated to the public. The programme is using Radio Fana, an Addis Ababa based radio station, which is well received throughout the Somali speaking part of the Horn of Africa. A total of 7 audience groups have been reconstituted outside of Hargeisa with an aim of increasing listenership of the radio programmes. The messages are thus likely to be heard by a much larger audience and hopefully this will lead to higher usage of the public health care system in Somaliland.  A new set of Information Educational & Communication (IEC) materials has been produced. This set was designed consultatively with all the HSSP partners and contain relevant health messages. The IEC materials include fob watches for nurses, calendars and year planners.

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