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PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES

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Introduction

 

Severe drought had been observed to have griped the most areas of Somalia. To cite about rural areas of the country, food crisis had really worsened the situation due to consecutive years of poor rainfall, as reported by FSNAU (Food Security and nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia, 2017). FSNAU also reported that declining river water level added fuel to the fire, which caused the reduced employment opportunities in the rural areas, in addition to entire crop failure. The additional crisis was also experienced as widespread shortage of pasture and water. The livestock deaths were also the result of these unwanted situations. All these resulted in rapid decrease in poor households’ capacity to access food, because of sharp rise in the prices of staple foods, while paradoxically the prices of livestock started dwindling.

The food crisis facts in Somalia- the Oxfam Report (2011)

 

In their report, Oxfam has highlighted on 5 main issues which had been recorded in Somalia after their food insecurity, which is almost in line the six years late reports of FSNAU (Food Security and nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia, 2017). According to the Oxfam report, Funding, Number of affected People, Malnutrition, Food prices and Displacement are the major issues.

Funding-To go with the UN Financial Tracking Service, Somalia and Keneya could be funded only 47 percent and the balance amount were appealed by the UN. If clubbed with the Ethiopian Government’s contribution of 44 per cent, a gap of 1 billion was falling short for these three countries (UNDP in Somalia, 2014).

Numbers of affected People- 2.85 million people were affected in Somalia

Malnutrition- As per the Oxfam figures, the affected areas across the country were more than the imaginable 20 per cent or to say ‘very critical’ threshold of theGAM (General AcuteMalnutrition) and in additional 5 per cent of SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition), which is established by WHO.

Food Prices- The region faced acute higher food prices in their staple foods, if compared with that of the previous year’s price. The prices of red sorghum rose more than 240 per cent in the southern region of the country.

Displacements- As per the data available from UNHCR (UN High Commission for Refugees), the numbers of Somalis displaced were almost 750,000, in addition to this year’s displaced Somalis’ number as 135,000. This apart, within Somalia, the counts of displaced Somalis are 1.46 million. When data of displaced Somalis are collected from the Ethiopian and Kenyan border camps, the count is another 500,000 people. But this was not all, every day thousands were added to the count. Oxfam reported about the world’s largest refugee camp, i.e. Dadaab refugee camp, located at the Kenya-Somalia border. In this camp, nearly 360,000 Somalis could be sheltered in a most inhuman condition, as also reported by the UNHCR Press briefing (2011). Each day the number of refugees were added b thousands

Overall food situation, as was studied by Oxfam

 

The overall condition of food security across the marginal and pastoral agricultural areas were noticeably declining not only for the prevalent period, it was looking dim for the next 3 to 4 months (Foodsecurityportal.org., 2017). Because of which, below average or late summer harvests were obvious. Further to these devastations, early depletion of water and pasture, supplemented by high fuel prices, water shortage and continuity in high prices in food items were found to be very critical (Lim et al. 2016).

La Niña, was known as a type of climate condition, as said to be the main reason for all these dry spells, leading to the food insecurity. The paradox of this climate is La Niña, not only caused havoc through its dry spells, the same La Niña could have caused abnormal rain, leading to floods in some parts of the region. As for example, flash floods were witnessed in Ethiopia, (UN OCHA, 2011).

Discussion of the relevant MDGs

 

According to the UNDP’s report on Somalia, highlighting on The Millennium Development Goals (2014), MDGs have brought a sea change in the lives of the distressed people in Somalia.

According to the above UNDP report (2014), the MDG program could halve the rate of poverty by 50% between 1990 and 2010. However, 1.2 billion people could not be brought out of extreme poverty. In spite of serious efforts to reduce the number of school children dropout rates from the schools, the success could be achieved partially, as it “slackened considerably” (Foodsecurityportal.org., 2017). With the introduction of the quota system, women’s empowerment in the world parliament is gaining momentum. The MDG’s target of reducing child mortality rate could not be reached at the successful stage, although substantial progress could be recorded. As far as maternal mortality rate is concerned, the report (2014) says, more endeavours had to be put in place, because lack of education and poverty are coming in the way of perpetuating the high rates of adolescent births. The cases of HIV infections are recorded to be in the higher side. During the every passing year, losses of millions of hectares of forest areas are causing concerns for the national wealth. Further to it, Global greenhouse emissions of gasisrecorded to be growing in an alarming rate. The official records, in regards to development assistance, have been in its peak, which has reversed the last two years’ upsurge and have come to a reduced level.

A significant effort has been found to be effective to fight against tuberculosis and malaria. As a whole, all health indicators are showing improvements. The rate of children’s death below the age of five has almost brought down to half, if last 20 years’ statistics are studied. This means nearly seventeen thousands children could be saved every day.The other success, in regards to halving the people’s proportion in accessing to improved water sources, could also be achieved. All the up-to-date data indicate that the national governments have proved their concerted efforts along with the civil societies, international communities and also the private sectors to make this MDGs for expanding “hope and opportunities” for the suffering lots in the country. However, more efforts are needed towards accelerating the progress. More focused and bolder actions are needed for plugging the existing gaps and getting rid of disparities.All the member states are engaged in discussing on defining SDGs, which can better fulfil the objectives of development agendas.

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