The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services convened their first Somali Health Research Conference in Garowe, the capital city of the Puntland State of Somalia, from the 30th of January 2022 to 1st February 2022, hosted by the Puntland State Ministry of Health. The conference aimed at convening health researchers, academics, and healthcare system practitioners to present their ongoing research projects and share their successes and challenges along with the gaps their studies have identified. The conference brought together a network of Somali health professionals, from federal and state-level organizations, and from international collaborating partners to identify the research needs and priorities to be considered for implementation. Moreover, the Health conference organized panel presentations and discussions on important health system areas leading to actionable recommendations as well as on the current and future concerns confronting the health sector across the country.
The conference also aimed at advancements in Health Research Settings, to effectively promote public health benefits, establish national ethical guidelines, and improve Somali Universities’ health research performance. WHO, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Public Health Agency of Sweden (PHAS), The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and the Somali Swedish Research Cooperation for Health (SSRCH) provided the financial and/or the technical support necessary for the conference. More than 180 Somali researchers and service providers from the private and public health sectors attended the conference, while 50 abstracts and 12-panel presentations were deliberated during the three days of the conference.