Somalia: “We just watched COVID-19 patients die”: COVID-19 exposed Somalia’s weak healthcare system but debt relief can transform it

Index Number: AFR 52/4602/2021

Somalia is a heavily indebted country and one of the least developed in the world. Its health system is also one of the weakest. Many of its health indicators, including access to reproductive, maternal and child healthcare, are very poor. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 exposed and exacerbated these pre-existing broader structural issues facing the country’s healthcare system. The country has the sixth highest maternal death risk and the highest child mortality rate globally. The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) index was 22% in 2017, with only one surgeon per 1,000,000 people

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