Improving the health of pregnant women

The ongoing conflict in south and central Somalia has caused thousands of people to travel north to Somaliland and settle in informal settlements. These settlements lack essential infrastructure such as water, sanitation and health services, which is causing ill health and having a particularly harmful impact on pregnant women and children.

In Somaliland a woman dies from a pregnancy related cause every seven hours, and every year nearly 25,000 women suffer injuries and disability because of childbirth. This in turn affects young children; children who lose their mothers are up to ten times more likely to die before their second birthday than children whose mothers are alive.

Women’s health is further impacted by harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and a severe lack of gender equality.

Health Poverty Action is working with communities in Maroodi Jeex and Hargeisa to strengthen pregnant women in their struggle for health. This work includes:

  • Training doctors, nurses, and nurse-midwives.
  • Training women from the community in healthy practices around child birth.
  • Strengthening the capacity and increasing the supplies of Hargeisa Group Hospital and 11 health facilities.
  • Using innovative solutions such as motorbike ambulances, as standard ambulances cannot access market areas.
  • Increasing community awareness of healthy practices, such as addressing misconceptions around child immunisation.
  • Strengthening community activities that empower women.