Public Health Emergency Operations Center
Somalia has faced diverse threats to public health including infectious disease outbreaks, natural hazards, health consequences of climate change, wars, as well as contamination among other health threats. These threats have the potential to disrupt livelihoods, destroy infrastructure, interrupt economic activities, retard development and lead to diversion of resources to response activities. Public health threats are indeed a threat to the realization of Somalia’s Vision 2030 and global Sustainable Development Goals. One of the responsibilities of the health system is to prevent, prepare for, detect, and respond to public health threats.
Therefore, one of the critical roles of a health system is to conduct surveillance of and coordinate responses to threats and events that could directly or indirectly affect the health of populations and overwhelm the health system’s capacity. While the National Institute of Health as part of the Ministry of Health has responded to public health emergencies using existing structures in the past, the efficacy levels were not fully attained. This gave rise to the need for the establishment and operationalization of a Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC).
The PHEOC is part of a national and international Emergency Operating Centres (EOCs) network. As mentioned, this includes the member state level, and EOCs within the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Swedish Public Health Institute, and other country EOCs within the region. This network plays a central role in the coordination of emergency response using the all-hazards approach.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PHEOC
Coordination of the response to public health events/emergencies with all relevant stakeholders including states and national government entities and non-government agencies entailing:
- Mobilization and deployment of resources, including surge capacity, services, and supplies to support all PHEOC functions.
- Timely, event-specific operational decision-making using available information, policy, technical advice, and plans.
The National Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC) mandate is to coordinate the implementation of the public health emergency management plan that’s responsible for coordinating the preparedness for and response to public health emergencies in Somalia.
Our mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public health interventions in the face of emergencies, it is essential to improve the coordination of the various phases of preparedness, response, and recovery. This involves establishing clear roles and responsibilities, fostering collaboration and communication among stakeholders, and leveraging existing resources and capacities.
Our vision is to effectively support decision-making and coordinate responses to public health threats and emergencies, all PHEOCs have the necessary capacities and are well-connected. This will also help build stronger public health systems that can better handle future public health emergencies in Somalia.
1 - To foster adherence to high-quality and evidence-based practices and standards in emergency management.
2 - To enhance the capabilities and skills of EOC staff and leaders in countries facing various types of emergencies.
3 - To facilitate effective and timely communication and coordination among EOCs and other response partners at different levels.
4 - To oversee the execution of the country’s emergency management plan in alignment with the national and international frameworks and guidelines.