Mogadishu, July 24, 2019 (AFP) - Six people were killed and the mayor of Mogadishu was wounded in a bombing at the mayoral offices in the Somali capital on Wednesday, in an attack claimed by Al-Shabaab jihadists to have been targeting a UN envoy. United Nations special envoy James Swan had met the mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, and left just before the blast at the headquarters of the Banadir district, which encompasses Mogadishu, according to the mission's Twitter account. "Six people, including two district commissioners and three directors, were killed in the terrorist attack this afternoon," Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye told reporters.
As well as the mayor, five others, including district commissioners, were injured in the blast and being treated by doctors. "I deplore this heinous attack which not only demonstrates a violent disregard for the sanctity of human life, but also targets Somalis working to improve the lives of their fellow Somalis in the Mogadishu-Banadir region," Swan said in a statement, confirming he had been in the building earlier in the day. The Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab jihadist group claimed responsibility for the "well-prepared operation", saying they were targeting Swan.
A security source, who asked not to be named, said a suicide bomber had entered a hall where the officials were meeting and detonated the blast inside. "The mayor was wounded in the blast and he is currently being treated. Some of the commissioners of Mogadishu district have also been wounded," deputy mayor Mohamed Abdullahi Tulah told the government's radio station Muqdisho. Security forces are investigating the incident.
"The blast occurred inside but we are not sure what exactly caused it, some reports we are getting indicate it was caused by a suicide bomber... and there are casualties," said security official Mahdi Abdirahman. "The blast was very heavy, and I saw people fleeing, some with shrapnel wounds, outside the Banadir administration headquarters," said witness Mohamud Shariif, referring to the regional government offices. In a statement, Shabaab said they had "killed many of the enemy". Mogadishu is regularly hit by attacks by the Shabaab, which has fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government. The city was on Monday struck by a car bomb that left 17 dead and more than two dozen wounded.
Mogadishu, 25 June 2019 - Health authorities rolled out a polio campaign yesterday in Puntland and Somaliland to vaccinate more than 940 000 children under 5 years of age to stop an ongoing outbreak of a strain of poliovirus.
The campaign runs from 24 to 27 June 2019, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It targets all children in 12 districts in Somaliland and 9 districts in Puntland.
By the numbers:
945,480 children to be vaccinated
3160 vaccinators knocking on doors
677 team supervisors taking part
1558 social mobilizers sharing messages on vaccination and children’s health
15 children have been infected with the polioviruses so far, since outbreaks began
Somaliland, Puntland and other states in Somalia are currently experiencing outbreaks of 2 strains of poliovirus. Each strain requires a different vaccine. Children need several doses of each vaccine to boost immunity. Even though these viruses are not wild poliovirus, both these circulating strains can infect and paralyse children with low immunity. The last case of wild poliovirus in Somalia was in August 2014.
“It’s vital that parents ensure their children receive this vaccine because it builds immunity against a specific strain of poliovirus circulating in the country. I call upon all caregivers in the areas being covered in this campaign to please ensure children are at home and accept the oral polio vaccine when it is offered. Oral polio vaccines are stored and administered safely, and can save children from paralysis and permanent disability,” said Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia.
“The only way to protect children from all polioviruses is to ensure they receive multiple doses of polio vaccine, through campaigns and health facilities where possible,” said Werner Schultink, UNICEF Somalia Representative. “Caregivers need to ensure children receive this vaccine when it is available.”
Somalia’s polio programme has conducted 14 immunization campaigns, including 5 nationwide campaigns, since December 2017 to stop further spread of the outbreaks. Despite these efforts, not all Somalia’s children are being vaccinated, which has resulted in the polioviruses spreading across the country and spilling over to Ethiopia. To address this, polio teams from Somalia and Ethiopia conducted a joint planning workshop in Hargeisa last week, and are coordinating immunization activities along their shared border and in high-risk areas in each country during this round in order to prevent cross-border transmission and spill over.
Concurrent to the polio campaign, polio health workers have also been working to vaccinate more than 650 000 people aged one year and above against cholera in high-risk districts of Somalia.
Date: Tue 7 May 2019
Source: WHO Emergencies preparedness, response, Disease Outbreak News (DONs) [edited]
The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Somalia has announced 36 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 17 (22 to 28 Apr 2019) in 2019. No cases were reported between epidemiological weeks 1 and 7 due to closure of the main cholera treatment centre, from which data is collected. MoH has reported 7140 cases and 46 deaths since the beginning of this outbreak in December 2017.
During the reporting period, cases occurred in 11 out of 17 districts in Banadir region, the worst affected district are Hodan (728), Daynile (613), and Madina (595), and 66.66% of the cases (24) are children below 5 years of age.
WHO, MoH, and partners have contained the cholera outbreak in the districts of Jubaland, Hirshabelle, and South West states following implementation of oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns and other health interventions. However, active transmission is ongoing in 11 districts in Banadir -- Darkenly, Daynile, Hodan, Madina, Hamarjabjab, Howlwadag, Bondere, Kahda, Kaaran, Waberi, and Warta nabada).
In 2019, 114 stool samples have been collected and tested in the National Public Health Laboratory in Mogadishu. During this reporting period, 10 cases were confirmed for _Vibrio cholerae_, serotype O1 Ogawa by culture.
WHO continues to provide leadership and support to health authorities and partners for outbreak mitigating measures. For disease surveillance, WHO supports the electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (eEWARN) system which is currently expanding to include all health facilities in Somalia. WHO and MoH continue to monitor outbreak trends via eEWARN, promptly investigating and responding to all alerts.
Nairobi, May 6, 2019 (AFP) - Drought has left nearly two million Somalis in desperate need of food, a humanitarian agency warned Monday, as poor rainfall pushes communities to the brink across East Africa. The Norwegian Refugee Council said hundreds of thousands of children were already suffering malnutrition in Somalia and millions had abandoned their homes in search of food in the arid, conflict-torn nation. "The humanitarian situation has deteriorated at an alarming rate as a result of the drought," Victor Moses, the council's country director in Somalia, said in a statement.
The failure of the so-called long rains that usually sweep East Africa between March and May has caused widespread crop failures and heaped immense pressure on livestock-dependent communities in the greater region. Somalia is enduring its third-driest long rains season since 1981. The United Nations estimates that 1.7 million people are going hungry, with that figure expected to grow by another half a million come July.
Last week, the UN said 44,000 Somalis had left their homes in rural areas for urban centres just this year -- joining the estimated 2.6 million internally-displaced people across the country. Close to a million children will need treatment for malnutrition in 2019. "The deterioration has come much earlier than seen over the last decades and before affected communities could recover from the most recent drought," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. But the hunger crisis could extend well beyond Somalia, with the entire Horn of Africa region at risk from drought and extreme weather exacerbated by climate change. Almost 80 percent of the population in the Horn depend on farming for a living, said the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network said in April that if rains did not materialise in May "the season will have failed and the impact on food security outcomes would be more severe than currently anticipated". The US-funded network warned more than 42 million people in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and nearby Yemen were currently facing crisis levels of food insecurity. In Kenya, considered the most dynamic economy in the region, the World Bank in April cited the impact of drought when trimming its growth forecast for the country in 2019.
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2019 10:12:51 +0100
Mogadishu, March 7, 2019 (AFP) - A "heavy" explosion rocked central Mogadishu Thursday morning, leaving an unknown number of casualties, a security official and witnesses said. "The blast occurred at a checkpoint close to the National Theatre, we don't have the details but there are casualties," said Mohamed Adam, a security official. "The explosion was very heavy, and we could see the smoke and dust overwhelmed the whole area, it was a car bomb," said witness Ibrahim Farey.
Another witness, Aisha Hassan, said several vehicles were destroyed and buildings damaged, adding that ambulances were seen rushing to the scene "but it is impossible to get close to the area now". The road in which the blast occurred is close to the presidential palace and home to restaurants and tea-shops. Earlier this month, at least 20 people died in an attack in Mogadishu which saw Al-Shabaab jihadists battling security forces for nearly 24 hours.