Somali government launches a national task force to increase immunization and child survival

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Somali government has launched a new national task force on immunization, polio eradication, and child survival to strengthen the country’s public health infrastructure.

Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, Health Minister Dr. Ali Hajji Adam, key government officials, and representatives from international partner organizations attended the launching event in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Prime Minister Barre emphasized the government’s commitment to overseeing polio eradication and routine immunization efforts, pledging to mobilize support for implementing Somalia’s emergency action plan against polio transmission to protect children from the disease.

He called for a comprehensive strategy to address broader health challenges contributing to child mortality and illnesses, stating that the journey doesn’t stop polio eradication.

Health Minister Dr. Ali Hajji Adam commended the Prime Minister’s leadership in convening the high-level task force, which represents a renewed government commitment to safeguarding the health of Somalia’s children.

Last April, the Somali government announced plans to vaccinate 1.5 million children, including those who have not received any doses (zero-dose children) and those who have not completed their multi-dose vaccine series this year.

The government also pledged to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines in the coming months.

The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect against serious illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis, while the rotavirus vaccine helps prevent rotavirus infection, a common cause of diarrhea and vomiting. Somali medical professionals stated that these vaccines are crucial in reducing morbidity and mortality rates among children under five.