National Institute of Health (NIH) is semi-autonomous parastatal governmental public health agency that is a legal body and shall has financial, administrative, and technical independence, as well as the legal eligibility to proceed with all the actions and works that ensure achieving its mandate. The legitimacy and guidelines of the institute shall be in accordance to the structure of other federal government institutions in Somalia. The Federal Government of Somalia has resolved to establish a National Institute of Health Somalia (NIHS), under the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), to strengthen the public health system of Somalia. NIHS shall compliment and assist the Ministry of Health of Somalia in its goals of achieving universal health coverage and improving the health of the population in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063.
The National Institute of Health is a key Ministry of Health pillar in strengthening the country’s response systems as it will consolidate key functions for effective prevention, detection, preparedness and response to outbreaks and other public health emergencies. The efforts to establish the NIH in Somalia begun in 2013. It provides a balance among the three dimensions of UHC namely services coverage, population coverage and financial protection, and to align with the strategic direction set out in the Somali Roadmap towards Achieving UHC 2019-2030. The establishment of National Institute of Health will lay foundation for an efficient public health system that can prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks and improve health outcomes and help in achieving the UHC goal of 80% by 2030.
In 2018 the government through a Cabinet council approved to formalize the institute and was subsequently endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Human Services’ (FMOH & HS) and finally through a Ministerial directive outlining the NIH assigned roles. The National Institute of Health will seek to address shortcomings in Somalia’s health sector including allocating the available resources in other services that are not relevant to the country’s health sector.