There is a high burden of mortality and morbidity in the country that can be prevented and treated at the community level through a community cadre of health workers, supported by the health and local governance structures. However, the situation on the ground is fragmented as there are over 17 differently named community health cadres, with a huge variation in selection criteria, skills, and services provided. This is an inefficient use of meager resources.
There is a conducive environment for the implementation of the Somali Community Health Strategy (CHS). The Somali Health Policy, 2014 and the three Health Sector Strategic Plans (2013-16) refer to the need to improve community-based interventions, particularly for health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), but nothing is stipulated. Stakeholders from all sections of society agree that a Somali community health strategy is important so as to reach women and children, particularly in underserved areas, and implement health care services with the involvement of people and communities.
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