A weak health response is increasing the risk of excess mortality as food crisis worsens in Somalia

Authors: Andrew Seal, Francesco Checchi, Nancy Balfour, Abdi-Rashid Haji Nur and Mohamed Jelle

Year of publication: 1998


It is a complex task to outline the issues involving HIV/AIDS in Somalia and Somaliland, and the role expected form the Somali Diaspora. It involves issues of prevention, cultural sensitivity and understandinf the rights of the infected to participate on an equal basis.

While there is no official data on the prevalence or incidence of HIV/AIDS in North West Somalia (Somaliland) and no standardized reporting system, Hargeisa Hospital has reported very high rates of HIV seropositivity among volunteer blood donors. Also, numerous AIDS cases have been confirmed serologically in people suspected to be positive on clinical grounds. Cases have been reported from the towns of Barbera and Borama as well.

At present there is no national AIDS program or STD prevention strategy, no surveillance, no education campaign, and an atmosphere of denial in large segments of the community.

The development of an HIV/AIDS program must be and should be a priority for both the administration of North West Somalia and for the UN agencies involved in the repatriation/reintegration process, among which UNCHR is the lead agency.

Material kindly provided by the Roma 3 University's Somali Archive

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