MOGADISHU, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that it has received 2 million U.S. dollar grant to support epidemic disease surveillance and emergency primary health care response activities in Somalia.
WHO Representative in Somalia Ghulam Popal said the risks are particularly high among displaced people and other vulnerable populations already weakened by poverty and poor nutrition.
"Lack of sufficient resources, coupled with limited access to health services and absence of timely detection and response to disease outbreaks have challenged our efforts to provide lifesaving response and prevent disease outbreaks in the country," Popal said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
Communicable disease outbreaks remain a major public health threat in Somalia. Nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of acquiring cholera, of whom more than half are women and children below 5 years of age.
"The aid grant will help us strengthen coordination with the ministry of health and step up emergency health and epidemic disease surveillance to reduce morbidity and mortality attributed to epidemic-prone diseases," Popal added.
The UN health agency early this year reported a funding gap estimated at 4 million dollars required to maintain its life-saving response to outbreaks, drought, and malnutrition in Somalia.
The grant will also support the procurement and prepositioning of essential supplies and life-saving medicines in all high-risk areas across Somalia.