Health Status

Ethiopia is listed under poorest health status related to other low-income countries, and the Somali region remains with extremely poor health status comparing to other regional states of the country or the national average (largely attributable to potentially preventable infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies).

Malaria, all types of TB, diarrhoea and malnutrition cases are leading causes of outpatients, admissions and deaths in the region.

Repeated and prolonged droughts for the last decade; low educational level (specially among women), inadequate access to clean water and sanitation facilities; and poor access to health service have also contributed to the burden of ill-health. The Crude Death Rate is estimated is to be 9.80 per 1000 population.

The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is estimated at 57.0 per 1,000 while the Child Mortality Rate (CMR) is 39.00 deaths per 1000. The maternal mortality (MMR) rate is estimated at 500-700 per 100 000 live births.

Health System Organization

HSDP I introduced a four-tier system for health service delivery system. A primary health care unit (PHCU), comprising one health centre and five satellite health posts, and then the district hospital, zonal/regional hospital and specialized referral hospital characterize this.

A PHC-unit is designed to serve 25,000 people, while a district and a zonal/regional hospital are each expected to serve 250,000 and 1,000,000 people respectively. The Health Sector has recently introduced an innovative health service delivery system through the implementation of the Health Service Extension Programme (HSEP) at the health posts and community levels.

Accelerated Expansion of Primary Health Services strategy has also been endorsed as part of facilitating the implementation of the HSEP. Furthermore, there will be a restructuring of the health service delivery system in terms of the role of the health facilities and professional mix of the staff during the implementation of HSDPIII. However, despite the pastoral life style along with the low population density in Somali region, a Pastoral Health Extension Program is adapted and started into implementation.

Table 1: Expansion of Health Facilities

Type of Health Facility                 2002/03    03/04   04/05   05/06   07/08   Under construction 08/09

Referral/Specialized Hospital                                                                                             1

Zonal Hospitals                                      2               2          2          2          2

District Hospital                                     3               4          4          4          4

Health centres                                     14             15        19        23        32                  117

Health Stations                                  110             98        75        93

Health Posts                                       50              62      121      159      557                  399

Access and Utilization of Health Services

The number of health facilities in the region is very limited and inadequate compared to the national standards. Currently, there are 6 hospitals, 32 health centers, and 557 health posts (including 83 health stations - Clinics). Based on these numbers of health facilities, Potential Health Service coverage is estimated at 65% (2008) - when calculated from Health centres, health stations and health posts. This varies substantially around woredas in the region.

Besides, expansion of health facilities is one of the priority areas of Somali Region, presently, a new regional referral/specialized hospital, 117 new health centers, and 399 health posts are under construction across the region.

Following tables show information’s related with the number of health facilities, primary health service coverage and utilization of formal health services.

Table 2: Potential Health Service Coverage