Politics is a word numerous people associate it with the evil happening around them. From corruption, deceit, under-development, and increased taxes. What the majority fail to understand is that there are several forms this word takes. It involves more than those they elect and the seats they occupy. Most people do not know that they are involved in politics and are political actors occupying different spaces. This section analyzes what politics is, who is involved, and discuss how it is impacted by space.
The word has both a narrow and broad definition depending on how someone views it. The majority understand the narrow meaning of politics as that concerning the state. They associate it with politicians or when voting during an election. Some may also define it as a source of conflict, a peaceful method for conflict resolution, as the exercise of power, and politics as a social and public.
However, politics can also be defined as anything that has the potential to be political, depending on its context and interpretation. This definition provides a broader meaning of the word. In 2014, protests erupted in England concerning Emily Slough; a mother labeled a “tramp” for breastfeeding her child in public (Grant, 2016). While breastfeeding is not a political issue, it resulted in protests condemning Emily’s shaming and campaigning for breastfeeding in public. How you view politics will determine the people that are involved. The actors may be senators or the president, and it may be those joining protests or boycotts.
Space influences politics in two significant ways. The first is space being a location where politics is conducted, and they include legislative (where laws are made), judicial (such as courts), and private spaces (such as homes). Legislative space provides a place where governments or councils create policies that will help govern the people. Politics involved here is mostly that concerning the state.
The judicial space provides a location where disputes can be resolved or where laws can be enforced. Both politics as a peaceful method for conflict resolution and the exercise of power can be carried out here. Judicial and legislative spaces may also be a place where protests are staged for people’s demands to be met. They provide a platform where people can use to exercise politics as a social and public activity.
In June 2020, people marched to the Capitol to protest the death of George Floyd. They used the Capitol as a political space to condemn the killing and call an end to police brutality and racial discrimination (Dave et al., 2020). Homes can also be spaces where numerous political discussions take place, mostly concerning the government. Space can also be the main topic in politics (politics of space). A specific location may be the reason why people may engage in protests. In 2016, Native Americans across North America protested the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect the region’s land and water (Carasik, 2016). It shows that space can also result in politics.
I believe in equality and have always advocated for human rights. That is why when the George Floyd protests erupted in several states in the US and Europe, I was in Norway. I picked up a placard and scribbled “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in bold. I joined others to protest the brutal killing of Floyd by the police because his rights were violated.
I did not view my actions as political. However, if we consider the narrow definition of politics in this context, then I was involved with politics concerning the state. The police’s role is to serve and protect its citizens, and that was not the case. I decided to protest because the US government failed to respect Mr. Floyd’s rights. I used my home as a political space during these protests by engaging in discussions with my family on how human rights have been violated by the police several times. We talked about why such incidents keep happening even though these rules are set to protect us. By doing so, I turned my home into a private political space and my family joining the discussion became political actors.
2020 has been a challenging year for numerous countries globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has resulted in the loss of lives, countries closing down their borders, and businesses shutting down, leading to unemployment. It is a time where the World Health Organization (WHO) plays a vital role in helping several countries cope with the pandemic by providing funding or donations.
However, the Trump administration stated that it would cut funding to the WHO in April 2020 (Bery, 2020). It was a move I found reckless and uncalled for, especially when people’s health around the globe was at risk. To voice my concerns, I joined others in signing an online petition on the sign.moveon.org website. I also mobilized a few interested friends to sign the petition, which would help us reach the target, 200,000 signatures (Chappell, 2020). I did not view the US government’s decision to reduce WHO funding as a political issue.
However, considering the broad definition of politics, it has the potential of becoming one. Signing the petition makes me term it as politics concerning the government. I may also be considered as an activist because I involved my friends in this action. They are also political actors since they participated in signing the petition.
Bery, S., 2020. Restore Full Funding to The World Health Organization Now! [online] MoveOn. Available at: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/restore-full-funding-to-the-world-health-organization-now?source=homepage&utm_medium=promotion&utm_source=homepage
Carasik, L., 2016. N Dakota Pipeline Protest Is a Harbinger of Many More. http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/media
Chappell, B., 2020. NPR Choice Page. [online] Npr.org. Available at: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/19/858579903/trump-says-cuts-to-who-funding-will-be-final-if-it-doesnt-commit-to-major-change
Dave, D.M., Friedson, A.I., Matsuzawa, K., Sabia, J.J., and Safford, S., 2020. Black Lives Matter protests, social distancing, and COVID-19 (No. w27408). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27408.
Grant, A., 2016. “I… don’t want to see you flashing your tits around”: exhibitionism, othering, and good motherhood in perceptions of public breastfeeding. Geoforum, 71, pp.52-61.
What’s behind Erdogan’s statement that he wants better ties with Israel?
“If there were no issues at the top level (in Israel), our ties could have been very different.”
WASHINGTON – President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Friday that his country would like better ties with Israel but Israeli policy towards the Palestinians remains “unacceptable.”
“If there were no issues at the top level (in Israel), our ties could have been very different,” he said, adding that the two countries continued to share intelligence. “We would have liked to bring our ties to a better point.” But what is behind that statement?
Aykan Erdemir, senior director of the Turkey Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former member of the Turkish parliament, told The Jerusalem Post that Erdogan has enjoyed good rapport with Trump, “who shielded him from tougher action, including sanctions demanded by both Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress.”
According to Erdemir, the Turkish president, who is worried that the incoming Biden administration will be tougher on Turkey than the Trump administration has been, hopes to win favors through diplomatic posturing, “including a half-hearted outreach to Israel.”
“Erdogan also hopes that the chatter of a Turkish-Israeli rapprochement will also disrupt the growing energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which has deepened Ankara’s diplomatic isolation in the region,” he noted. “Erdogan’s consistent anti-Israel track-record and antisemitic outbursts over the years will make it difficult for him to convince his Israeli counterparts that there is real substance to his outreach.”
He went on to say that Turkey and Israel have great potential to establish win-win relations in economic, diplomatic, and security fields, “but Erdogan’s Islamist fixations will prevent any trust-based cooperation. As long as Erdogan continues to offer Hamas its most important base outside Gaza, Israeli officials will remain wary of the Turkish president’s overtures.”
Soner Cagaptay, author of Erdogan’s Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East and senior fellow at the Washington Institute, told the Post that almost 10 years ago, Erdogan launched a new foreign policy, supporting Arab uprisings and also breaking with the US when and if necessary, and turning Turkey’s direction away from Europe to the Middle East. “The ultimate goal was to make Turkey a star power nation in the Middle East. That didn’t happen a decade later,” he said. “Turkey today has fewer friends in the Middle East ever in recent memory. In fact, with the exception of Qatar and half of Libya, he has no Middle Eastern friends. At the same time, it cannot rely on its traditional allies, Israel, US, or EU.”
According to Cagaptay, another factor that drives Erdogan’s decision is that the Turkish President ”wants to charm Biden and the US Congress.”
“I followed the Turkish politics and US-Turkish ties for about two decades,” he noted. “I’ve never seen anti-Turkey sentiments rise so high in the US Congress. And I think Erdogan knows that if Turkey and Israel would get closer now, Israel being America’s closest ally in the Middle East, that will earn bonus points for him.”
He estimated that a real pivot in Turkish foreign policy is upcoming. “Of course, I’m not sure to what extent Israel will jump onto this and embrace Turkey because Emiratis, Egyptians, Greeks and others will insist that warming up ties with Turkey doesn’t come at the expense of good ties with them,” said Cagaptay.
Reuters contributed for this report
Int’l partners should drop diplomatic niceties and slap the bitter truth on the face of Farmajo to save Somalia from collapsing
Somalia is once again at the crossroads and on the brink of collapse. Somali people are mindful of what this means to them. It took 20+ years of civil war, devastation, lack of government, starvation and humiliation for the country to be where it is today. They fully comprehend the harsh realities of those times, the terrorism that traumatized the country, and many more disastrous events.
After enduring these challenging times, the Somali people, with the support of international partners who have rendered much-needed assistance in the form of humanitarian aid and peace-keeping troops, have gradually managed to bring stability to the country. But this is under grave threat by none other than the President and his inner circle in Villa Somalia.
President Farmaajo was elected to serve for a term of four years, with a mandate to restore peace and prosperity, finalize the draft constitution, revive the economy, continue the war against Al-Shabaab, hold elections on time, among other national priorities. But the one thing that was, and has always been the top priority was the importance of holding elections (preferably one-person-one-vote) on time without any delays.
Home and abroad, the Somali people initially welcomed him, had high expectations and optimism in his administration to succeed. After nearly four years in power, he is on the verge of plummeting Somalia into an ocean of political chaos, taking the country once again on the brink of collapse.
It is not a secret that Farmaajo and the leadership of the lower house of the Parliament on the basis of how they have handled the task of holding elections for parliamentarians later this year, and for presidential elections early next year are explicitly pursuing an unconstitutional term extension, against the will of the people, the opposition and the federal member states.
In December last year, both the upper house and the lower house of the Parliament passed a controversial electoral law allowing elections to be delayed if major events such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, droughts and technical difficulties emerge, it is widely believed that Villa Somalia deliberately added that clause in order for Farmaajo to use it as an excuse to extend his term in office past February 2021.
Approximately four months is what remains on Farmaajo’s tenure as president and Villa Somalia continues to insist on one-person-one-vote elections. It makes you wonder what in the world they are thinking. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognize that this model is untenable, considering current security issues, lack of political consensus and voter registration which can’t be fulfilled in the short remaining time. Not forgetting the commitment of this administration, the technical and logistical requirements for such polls to take place.
Bear in mind, the commission responsible for this enormous task resides in Villa Somalia. And it takes nearly $100 million to coordinate nationwide polls. They can’t even get a proper place to operate from independently and without any interference from the political class. Yet they’re all over the place, telling everyone that they can hold one-person-one-vote elections with less than five months to go. It is an insult to intuition.
It is obvious that Farmaajo is purposely sticking to an impractical plan to have a smokescreen for postponing the election and extending his term of office beyond February 2021. Opposition leaders, the federal Member States, have always maintained their stance that an extension would not be tolerated and that elections have to be conducted on schedule. They firmly warned Villa Somalia against it, which they say might lead to instability and turmoil.
Farmaajo is now playing a cat and mouse game with stakeholders, wasting everyone’s time with the so-called Dhusamareb conference. First, he deceived the presidents of the federal member states and failed to honour an agreement he has reached with them in meeting held via Zoom. One of the key points of the agreement was to prohibit members of parliament and the leadership of the Parliament (backed by Villa Somalia) from passing critical laws without the consent and approval of the member states, Farmaajo agreed, only to make a U-turn literally hours later. And with that, the members of parliament proceeded to pass laws without consulting no one.
This was a definite indication that Farmaajo has no regard for separations of powers, no regard for federal members leaders and other stakeholders. His aim is to stay in power and it has been that way from the get-go by any means necessary, plain and simple.
Immediately after Farmaajo returned from Dhusamareb ‘two’ conference, the lower house of the Parliament dramatically ousted the prime minister Hassan A. Khaire from his post in just under 8 minutes! A move many believe was the work of Farmaajo and his inner circle. The removal of the prime minister has shown how careless the leadership of the Parliament are, as they are fully aware of the rules and procedures to be followed in order for a prime minister to be removed from office. This move also reveals the brutality of Farmaajo, who betrayed his prime minister of three and half years in a flash, scapegoating him all in exchange for an imaginary two-year term extension.
It is believed that this vote of no confidence, backed by Villa Somalia, came after the prime minister seemed to jump out of the Farmaajo train and made clear that he is in favour of elections taking place on schedule and to avoid any attempts of a term extension. As he put it “would cause political, constitutional and security crises” and showed signs that he is in favour of an indirect election model or a similar model used in the previous elections of 2016. His proposal unlike Farmaajo’s was to invite all the stakeholders to the table in order to reach a political consensus so that elections could take place on time.
That being said Khaire, however, screwed up his chance to make a lasting and meaningful impact while in office, choosing instead from the get-go to be Farmaajo’s right-hand man until he was thrown helplessly under the bus.
The consequence of all these moves, is that the country does not have an executive government, and this cannot continue at this crucial time. There is an urgent need for a prime minister with the right intentions and the power to oversee peaceful elections and transition.
Farmaajo is at it again, attending Dhusamareb ‘three’. He is there again to do political treachery and mischeive, and to set traps for the leaders of the member states. He is also attending the meeting to deceive the international partners into believing that he is sincere about these meetings and willing to compromise for the well-being of the country. He is not, and he has never been.
The international partners, who are the lifeline for Somalia and invested a lot of resources in the economy and in the fight against Al-Shabaab in support for the current administration, should drop their diplomatic niceties and play a firmer and more powerful role by slapping the bitter truth on the face of Farmaajo to prevent Somalia from sinking into turmoil. The international partners should ensure that all the stakeholders are given a say in the direction the country is taking and that elections are held on time.
In doing so, Somalia can be rescued from a certain collapse, and Farmaajo should not worry about his welfare after his term in office. He can go back to his previous profession (commissioner for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority) or take an MP position which the constitution provides for.
How Somali Music Was Ignited?
Cabdilaahi Maxamed Maxamuud known as Cabdilaahi Qarshe was in born the outskirts of Moshi, Tanganyika (letter on Tanzania) in 1924. He had four brothers and one sister. His father was a trader and a Businessman in East Africa. He was regarded as frugal and fortune businessman. Originally he migrated from Sanaag region, Somalia. In that time men used to travel to East Africa for work and better lives.
Qarshe was a nickname of Abdallah’s father. Mohamed’s family hailed from Maydh district, they were respected as shrine keepers of sheikh Ishaaq. They were involved the fish industry, exportation of livestock and hides to Gulf of Aden. Cabdilaah’s father was died 1931. And his mother refused to be married to her brother in law who lived with them. Abdilahi said in an interview, “my father died in 1931 and my mother refused to marry my father’s brother, who lived in Tanzania with us, so she sold all the family’s property so that we could move back to Somaliland.”
They stayed in Aden for a while then they moved to Maydh by boat and from there to Cerigabo by road. After two years they returned Aden. Cabdilahi’s first engagement was to learn the Koran. He used to go to Madrasa (Koran teaching school) in Aden. In Tanzania he had been home schooled. For while as he mentions in an interview he lost interest in the Koran. He was attracted to British schools. His Mather the late Dahabo Hersi married his uncle in Aden. The late Cabdulaahi Qarshe went to British Schools and later on he completely become bored with learning. He got involved in watching Indian films and music. He had an interest for music.
During world war two, the British Authority established a radio station. The three foreign languages that broadcasted were Somali, Arabic and Hindi. Each had half an hour airtime. Arabic and Hindi music programmes were included but Somali music programmes were not included. Instead of Music, Somali classical poetry was used and took the remainder of the time.
This event was the one that triggered, pushed and empowered Abdallahi to ignite Somali unique music. He said “When Arabs visited Somali cafes they would ask them, “don’t you have your own music?””. He realised that Arabic music incorporated some of the Indian melody, he thought that he could do the same.
One day he saw a man in the market buying a lute and he wanted to buy one too. When he got enough money to buy, he went to seller and bought it. After acquiring the lute Abdallahi was faced with another challenge; where will he can put the lute? He said that his family was very religious so he could not carry his lute home. He got an idea, he put the lute in his friend’s box in their home so if his family discovered the lute he could claim the lute was not his.
When Cabdilaahi left, his friend collected the box then he gave the lute to him in Aden airport. When he arrived in Hargeisa he stayed with his family friend Mahamed Arale. As he mentioned. Somali genre balwo (Songs) has been progressing and making impact to the urban population. The first Somali song sang by Cabdi Sininmo was in 1940.
He was driving a lorry from Saila to Borama, the car punctured between two towns, near Banka Giriyad. Cabdi and his assistants pushed the car under a big tree and when it was being reapaired Cabdi remembered his love Khadijah. He composed the first Somali song in modern form which had melody. Balwo is the name of the type of song.
Abdilahali said “there were only a few musicians and they were either Arabs or Indians inspired by the new Somali genre of the belwo. There were two main characters: Ina Beenaale, an Indian, and Abdo Yusuf, a Yemeni. They played basic instruments, the most important being the violin. They invited me to join them, so I did, but I was not yet really proficient in playing.” They were using poetry lyrics to make soft melody. Abdilahi wanted to make money so he used his skills, he applied for a clerical vacancy position for the British colonial administration. He was transferred to Burao. Fortunately he got a teacher who could help him with the basics of playing the lute. He said that he agreed with Mr. Bakri to teach him to play the lute and he would give him a Kat in exchange for the lessons. Abdulahi become the first Somali musician and composer. He had a talent in composing songs, in making melody, playing the lute and writing plays.
The first song he composed was ka kacaay ” wake up” as result of the transferring of District Commissioner (NFD) Mr. Reeca also known as Kamakama in Somali to Somaliland, Hargeisa. They were told that Mr. Reeca had been an oppressive colonial character.
The late Qarshe participated in nationalism mobilisation. He improved Somali art. He composed the first song in Somali BBC 1957. The first play he perfumed was Cabara iyo Ceebla and Isa Seeg. It was easy for him to compose a melody. Most of Somali Qaaraami songs were created by him. After independence he moved to Mogadishu. He was there until the Somali civil war. Then he went to Djibouti. Later he moved to London. The Late Abdulaahi Qarshe, the father of Somali music, the composer, the play writer, and the Somali nationalist died in 1997 in London and was buried in Hargeisa. May he rest in peace.
Somali Myth Believes
In the present, the cultural and religious climate in the Somalis as well as other parts of the region are affected by retrograded and old model customs and believes which seems to be an antithetical approach to the understanding of the nature of the world. Somali population which mostly settles horn of Africa esp.
Somalia has been under broad turmoil and feud around three decades is now turning in to a society whose entire existence and heritage seems to be debilitating. This prolonged political chaos in Somalia has not influenced only governance and stability but has also retarded the pivotal freethinkers and the mode of accurate critical thinking, and that is why the scholars; authors; and intellectuals are lamenting about the destitution of the society.
The Somali culture is full of remnants and superstitions of mankind’s primitive age, in spite of these false believes which even subsided their theoretical belief of the Islamic religion, the Somali culture is somehow religiously oriented but it has totally ignored many social issues, the deadly one which made the culture a bigotry and lust for persecution is; the inequality and humiliation of segregation in which portion of the Somali society is suffering from.
The first point which needs to be focused is the; egalitarianism and discrimination inside the Somalis. For instance, Gabooye, which is the name of one of the Somali clans and Somali pure descendants, has been facing long-term discrimination and bare isolation from the other society, Gabooye, is believed to be inferior to others due to vague and baseless histories which are uttering that; Gabooye, clan once upon time ate dead animal flesh meat when severe drought emerged out, while others keep persisting in the hunger.
Frankly speaking there is nothing wrong both sociologically and religiously eating the body of the carcass during severe starvation and famine -while everyone is on the edge of mortality. This symbolism and propaganda effectively fuelled hatred among Somali clans and perpetuated conflicts of integration; inter-marriage and chauvinism. Besides that, this clan has been discriminated harshly from each public sector, socially, economically and even religiously dominated.
Somalis claim to be absolute Muslim religious people, but that is a fake aﬃrmation because of religions esp. [=Islam] always ties together the moral principle which it lays down for people and self-love which is centered in their nature. Religions combine the natural criterion of action and existence – so it can guarantee cheerfulness, comfort, justice, and egalitarianism!
Now thousands of Somali families are underneath of a cloud of a qualm and uncertainty owing to this inequity. Majority of the people had denied their existence and their social role. This tribal prejudice continued all through the seventeenth century up to now. Whatever, it’s startling how contemporarily Somali people accepted rudimentary customs and believes from ancient ancestor?! — Our ancestors who were among the people who sowed the seeds of this kind case were unequivocally illiterate people and they were unable to articulate the worth of human being.
In terms of mythology, there are many other imaginary stories which need to be cleansed from the morality of the people which are thought to be the products of either racially inherited traits or unknown etiology. Moreover, Satan or Jinn possession to the human body is still another theme which remains fuzzy one in the Somali people and a further society. Today there are inevitable habits and misleading beliefs which have been directly linked to religion as well as this one.
Somali people believe that Satan or jinn penetrate human body typically females, and following penetration, the person will be like an epileptic patient and unable to wake up until verses of Qur’an [God’s words] to be recited upon his ears.
Today there are nearly 500 religious remedy places [what so-called Illaaj in Arabic] within each Somali city which performs different procedures including herbal medication; Quran recitations and listening and another kind of brutalizing treatment.
It seems to me that a lot of evil deeds are done in the name of religions which are totally frightening and threatening. In these treatment areas there are belligerent mullah shaped individuals accompanied by strong and muscular men body guides which assists the aggressive treatment, for the first time of patients admission, patients hands and legs are tied tightly stretched wires and ropes which ceases patient movement even after patient arousal.
Furthermore, patients are crushed through thick and painful sticks and woods which sometimes consequences serious bodily injury. Most of the people assume these places as a therapeutic and psychotherapy center, and it’s the way they were persuaded.
These houses were designed resembling detention centers and have no ventilation gaps, as well, each wall of the rooms, outsized microphones, and extremely loud Quran cassette recordings are suspended which even sometimes can cause eardrum injury.
Mainly peoples who are admitted over these areas are psychiatric patients whom require medical care treatment and psychotherapy instead of conducting unjustified herbal remedy. However, there are nearby many other cultural, environmental, and traditional myths which still adheres the minds of numerous Somali people.
Abdirahman A. Adam Dhere is an Academic researcher, author, and Social Activist. He is also Horn of Africa analyst.
Disintegrated Somali Health Care System
Health sector is one of the most essential life sustaining principles in human life and devoid of it human being wouldn’t exist. A healthy individual shape and delivers the outcome of a complete and a well-oriented society. As a result, better health is fundamental to human happiness and safety. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more dynamic, and save more.
Numerous factors manipulate health status and country’s ability to provide valuable health services for its people. Ministries of health are significant actors, but so are other government sectors, donor associations, civil society groups and communities themselves.
As soon as the health is elementary need for all human species, beyond doubt the health sector in Somalia is still in a grave condition with one of the worst health indicators in the world. With a population of 12.3 million, 1.1 million people are internally displaced. Acute humanitarian needs increase to some extent; the number of people current in need of humanitarian backing has reached 5 million, which is more than 40% of the population.
The annual post-Gu assessment, which was released by the food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-managed Food Security and Nutrition Unit (FSNAU) in September 2017. Somalia is among the least developed countries listed in the 2012 Human Development Index. The country suffers from prolonged internal conflicts, poverty, human right violations, high population growth, desertification, recurrent droughts and famines, weak economy, poor governance, haphazard settlements, environmental humiliation and broken health care system.
After the fall of the central government, Somalia has been the archetype of a failed state in the world for the past 20 years. The Somali states slowly went to wrack and ruin over a period of a decade and then collapsed in 1991. A malicious civil war and tyrant regime has overwhelmed the country since 1988 and the downfall of the political regulation has produced an indescribable tragedy by consuming nearly 700 000 lives and displacing over three million people. ‘‘United Nations, Humanitarian Situation in Somalia: Monthly Analysis, Nairobi, April 2007’’.
Somalia’s political blow has turned into the most terrible humanitarian crisis in the world; therefore these calamities have not only been limited to the despair of its people, and other than accompanied by the disintegration of public infrastructure and regulatory mechanism, such as recognized banking systems, telecommunications, provision of inputs, and access to international markets.
Political instability and poor governance has stifled the health care system, which suffering from scarce funding, misconduct, and overall poor planning and policy development ever since independence, and created an overwhelming of nation’s staggering health care system and its handling mechanism. To make a correlation about past Somalia health care coordination and current misguided health care system, let us glance back a little bit; about the several highlights in the history of health care services in Somalia.
In early 1966, a nursing school was established in Hargeisa and another one in Mogadishu in1970. Subsequently, in 1973, a faculty of medicine and Surgery was set up in Mogadishu. In the 1980s, the commencement of these social institutions has brought in massive external assistance which is from international organizations and foreign governments. It established primary health care training institutions and opened the door for medical specialty training in TB (tuberculosis) and lung diseases in late 1980s.
These training institutions boosted the human resources for health and literally expanded access to health care services and improved the quality of health care in Somalia at that time; particularly with regard to TB. However, the substantial resources injected into the health care system were not used properly and their contributions faded soon. Another landmark of advancement was the formation of a semi-autonomous refugee health unit in the Ministry of health to serve the refugees from Ethiopia in 1977, which attracted gigantic foreign aid and expatriate health professionals.
The refugee health unit initiated brilliant health care planning and eﬃcient operations which optimistically influenced the overall ministry of health functions and operations. The RHU staff gained precious experience and knowledge concerning civic health concepts and practices. These formed proficient public health professionals and raised the alertness and practice of public health in Somalia. Also in 1980s, research in medical sciences was initiated by the faculty of medicine, in association with numerous universities in Sweden, through the National Academy of Science and Arts in Mogadishu. This was a new crack of dawn in exploration in medical sciences and the other entire fields in Somalia. This initiative and others mentioned priory mainly contributed to healthy manpower production and smooth improvement.
Despite the training institutions, there were several parameters of controlli+ng contagious disease in Somalia, which has been fulfilled by foreign aid agencies. For instance, infectious diseases was the most abundant disease in Somalia, as quoted by the ‘‘New England journal of medicine 328 (1993): ‘‘the threat of infectious diseases in Somalia’’ after a while, the smallpox eradication campaign and introduction of Primary health care and new tuberculosis (TB) treatment regimens by the Finnish International Development Agency (FINIDA) was in progress in the mid-1970s.
The perpendicular programs that had disease-definite objectives were funded almost entirely by international organizations and development agencies, like UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, FINIDA, USAID, UNDP, EU, and the SIDA.
In addition to that, WHO and UNICEF contributed many procedural plans; it funded a couple of primary health care line up that was experimental, whereas some of the other agencies were involved in program development, accomplishment, and assessment. Also UNICEF was involved in the Expanded Program on Immunization operations, in collaboration with the WHO. Likewise, FINIDA funded the national TB control program for at least six regions in Somalia, but quite certain change on the disease burden has been observed at that time, owing to poor proper usage. So far, Somalia’s health care system status illustrates the bottom of the list among the developing countries. (CIA, Somalia—World Fact Book, 2005)
–To be continued regarding the background of Somali health foundation and its international aid funding, there were multiple surveillances like, UNFPA (United Nations fund for population activities) ‘‘Somalia country paper’’ (2013) which was estimating the demographics and the social profile of Somalis, in order to plan the scheme of humanitarian services and operations; which was exceedingly vital for the sustainability of effective and accurate health care system.
Even though it was tough to find clear-cut reckon of the Somali population, nevertheless, at present, the population estimates quoted by these organizations range from seven to twelve million, with unsophisticated birth and death rates of 46 and 18 per 1,000 populations, respectively and an annual growth rate of 2.8% with a dependency ratio of 101%. The total fertility rate is 7.3 babies per woman of reproductive age, underlining the significance of obstetric services and the risk of maternal deaths. The life expectancy at birth is 46 years for males and 49 years for females.
High mortality rates in the early stages of life are responsible for this poor life expectancy at birth. The infant and under-5 mortality rate estimates in 2000 were 130 per 1,000 live births and 224 per 1,000 live births. Consequently, the long-drawn-out civil wars and disasters which have outraged the Somali population has aggravated these rates substantially and the overall crude mortality rates exceeded those recorded in neighboring Ethiopia and Sudan during the famine in 1984–85, seeing that in Centers for Disease Control ‘‘Population-Based Mortality Assessment’’ in Baidoa and Afgoye regions in South Somalia in 1992.
Beyond that, adequate resources, and the establishment of essential infrastructure is limited, concentrated in safe areas, chiefly in towns. There are currently 196 Mother Child Health (MCHs) clinics, 74 hospitals with 3,405 beds, 26 TB centers, 14 Out- patient departments (OPDs), and dispensaries, and 520 health posts, 13 mobile units, and 43 Malaria Microscopy centers. These hospitals locate only in urban centers and regional capitals. In rural district restricted services are available, and medical facilities are not accessible. Diagnostic facilities that are necessary to patient care are limited. In 2005, 114 clinical laboratories existed in the state.
From 2005 up to 2018, number of clinical laboratories, hospitals and diagnostic facilities has gotten worse, due to lack of investment and permanent maintenance. Statistics on X-ray machines are not available, but each hospital was equipped with at least one, moreover those in TB hospitals. Some machines at region hospitals are not functional at the moment.
Consequently, sum X-ray machines in the country must number less than 74, although a few of those that had been out of order may have been replaced. WHO (Draft), “Health Facilities Overview, Somalia” (2005) After the facilities, the disorders that were widespread early in the 1960s, after independence, have remained prevalent till today, health indicators advocated that there has been no improvement in the health of the population over the past three years.
Indeed, indicators show a slight increase in levels of infant and under-five mortality and pockets of chronic malnutrition persist in southern Somalia. Several studies showed that Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is exceptionally as high as 1600/100 000. A baseline KABP survey on Reproductive Health and Family Planning in Somaliland was carried out by WHO Somalia in October 1999. The main findings include:
Neonatal mortality rate (NMR), Infant mortality rate (IMR) and Child
Mortality rates (CMR), which are estimated to be 28,113 and 328 respectively
Fertility rate of around 7.9
18% of married underage (<18) girls
Female Gentile Mutilation Prevalence of 99%
But at this time the gifted hands of Dr. Edna Adam and her remarkable midwifery profession were due to the dramatic decrease of the Maternal Mortality Ratio. She initiated the construction of Edna Adam Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland to train midwives, though the midwifery profession was one among those professions that has suffered the biggest attrition in terms of number. Following that a momentary look about the list of the major health problems which are prevalent in Somalia:
Sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS: The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a critical tackling in health care and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of the world’s HIV/AIDS victims live (although they represent only 10% of the world’s population).
The HIV/AIDS prevalence in Somalia is around 1%. The prevalence of other sexually transmitted disease was as high as 30%. (Gillian Duffy, 199) However there are factors that could propel the epidemic of the disease which mainly are; first, the cost of medical and social services for people living with HIV/AIDS is beyond the budget of the ministries of health in the majority of Sub- Saharan Africa; Secondly, lack of knowledge and public awareness and devoid of using condemns for protected sex has exacerbated the disease. HIV infected individuals inside Somalis usually faces intimidating Islamic Wahhabism and offensive cultural radicalism which may cause them phobia, irrational fear and drug discontinuation. Immunization coverage against the six childhood illnesses is very low: For instance, repeated outbreaks of measles in almost all the regions of the country is a good indicator of low immunization coverage, and the circumstances is more severe in the nomadic and rural areas.
Water shortage is a common phenomenon in Somaliland, by the fact that the maximum annual rainfall ever recorded was 836mm in 1986 and the lowest was 156mm in 1965 (Hargeisa water agency, 1996). Availability of water in the urban settlements is also very low. It is estimated that the capital city of Hargeisa gets ¼ of its daily water requirements (ibid, 1996). In this situation of scarce safe and clean water, it is no doubt that diarrheal diseases ranked number One among the endemic and epidemic communicable diseases, including Cholera and diarrhea. Lack of child spacing: No family planning and low percentage of breast feeding. Early marriage is another factor which also causes adverse effects on young mothers and their new-born, especially during delivery. Female Genital Mutilation is further common crisis in the country which often results subsequent complications for young girls. The most prevalent diseases that are responsible both the high morbidity and mortality rates are: Diarrheal diseases: Survey conducted in Somaliland in the 2000, 17% of children have had diarrhea two weeks prior to the survey. Under developed countries, children’s diarrheal diseases remain one of the leading lethal diseases.
Acute respiratory tract infections (ARI): g.: Pneumonia Subsequently, mental health problems increase as well. Oral health care also faces the same problem. Although mental and oral health professional Doctors are scarce, indeed both mental and oral health is neglected and at present the need is enormous and critical. Beyond doubt, unsatisfactory outcomes of treatable diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, typhus, and dysentery, were mainly accredited to the poor quality of imported drugs, and lack of a strong regulatory body on drug importation and utilization. The currently flourishing drugstores across the country are full of expired drugs which could seriously aggravate an already dreadful health situation.
However, despite the failure of the Somali central government and the stability degradation, further there are steady and stable areas with public administrations that fulfill some basic functions of governments. For instance, Somaliland which is the northwestern part has declared its independence as the ‘‘Republic of Somaliland’’ it has broken away from the rest of Somalia since 1991 and have absolute positive development but lacks functioning civic infrastructure and the deficiency of entire nation’s strategies, which were never based on precise facts and figures, even though failed to offer apparent guidance to the frontline decision-makers about the overall health care mission and the motivating principles of health care service delivery. Somaliland constitutes of six main cities, chiefly the capital city of the Hargeisa, Borama, Erigavo, Burao, and Lasanod, these regions which is where I was born and grown up as a mature have a very high security profile as well achieved outstanding governmental system framework.
In neither spite of the effective nor the ineffectual governmental system in Somaliland for about the last two decades, still Somaliland undergoes overall fallible and fragile civic infrastructures. Specifically the health sector suffers mostly due to various flaws particularly due to inadequate funds for health service operations; Poor health development planning; Poor quality of available health care services and deprivation of advanced health care facilities.
A clear sign which can illustrate the poor health care services in Somaliland is the severe scarcity of suitable diagnostic equipments and imperfect misuse of the investigative tools by a few unprofessional health care staffs. A clear indication can be the country’s chief city Hospital Group, Hargeisa, this hospital which is the largest and the oldest hospital across Somaliland. There are various serious calamities which has ruined the overall health care service in Hargeisa. Devoid of diagnostic tools, dreadful health care service, limitation of manpower, medical supplies, drugs and funds are the misfortunes included.
The health care service status in Hargeisa has no progress at all for the last 25years. Somaliland health care service status shows overwhelming circumstance. For instance, a significant portion of diagnostic equipments are absent from the main hospital. Current 2018 Hargeisa Hospital diagnostic facilities are insuﬃcient. There is One Chest X-ray, One Ultra-sound, One CT scan with foreign Syrian radiologist, and One Anaesthelogist. Besides unfortunately there is no MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) through the entire hospital.
It’s an embarrassment that the major hospital in the city have this kind of shortage of facilities. In addition, the late civil wars, droughts, and the misguided national health policy wiped out the gains in health man-power production and development.
Though lots of expatriate health professionals whom am included graduates each year from the neighboring great Ethiopia and rest of the world which had literally raised the awareness and the quality of health care services. Nevertheless there is no accomplishment of national health development plans and strategic policy to ensure eﬃciency in the delivery of health care services and to make the system operational and sustainable.
Written by: Abdirahman A. Adam Dhere Academic researcher, Author and HOA analyst.
Disintegrated Somali health care system: From hapless to hopeless.
Confronting Farmaajo, Saving Somalia: Now or Never!
On the 8th of February 2017, Somalis at home and abroad gathered in front of the TV screens to watch the presidential elections, eager to see who assumes the highest office. Would that be President Hassan Sheikh? Would he be able to stand up to his challengers? Would Sharif Sh. Ahmed be able to make it this time, making a dramatic comeback to the Villa Somalia? Are we going to see a new leader at the helm? These were the main topics of the day.
All of a sudden, when the electoral commission began counting the votes, things started to look disastrous for both the incumbent president, Hassan Sheikh and former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who were the front-runners in the eyes of the public, it became apparent that the underdog, Mohamed Abdullahi (Farmaajo) was doing better than many expected.
Out of nowhere and frankly against all odds, it was Farmaajo who slowly but steadily became a serious challenger to the incumbent president Hassan Sh. Mohamud, coming in second in the first round. Farmaajo managed to keep the momentum in the second round, running away with the lead, and in the process defeating the incumbent president. The sound of celebration over took the murmur of speculation! Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo) became the president of the federal government of Somalia.
The Somali people home and abroad cheered and applauded their new president, a popular politician in the eyes of the people, they had high hopes of him, celebrating him as “the saviour of the nation” in a heroic move, both president Hassan and president Sharif stood behind the new president and pledged their unconditional support for his presidency!
President Farmaajo and his team, instead of taking advantage of the public support coming up with policies and initiatives to advance the development of the nation, to bring both security and political stability, they choose the wrong path, a path of dictatorship, oppression, undermining the rule of law, and in the process making lots of new enemies many of whom were their supporters in the initial days.
President Farmaajo in his first year in office made a catastrophic and damaging decision, handing over Abdulkarim Sh. Muse (Qalbi-dhagax) a Somali national, a former military officer of the Somali National Army to a foreign adversary, a country we had no extradition agreement with, and frankly a country many of the Somali people consider an sworn enemy. Huge backlash erupted, the public became furious, the parliament strongly condemned the move, Farmaajo and his group foolishly ignored the backlash and instead made a bigger blunder, this time calling ONLF (The Ogadane National Liberation Front) a terrorist group, an insult to injury.
ONLF being a group that fought for the self determination of the Somali Region of Ethiopia A.K. Ogaden, is seen by many as a group that fights for the Somali People under oppression in Ethiopia.
On the other hand, President Farmaajo and his team didn’t stop there, they began to terrorize anyone who disagreed with them, raiding the homes of politicians, killing innocent people, including SNA personnel, prohibiting free press, turning NISA (National Intelligence Service) into a cartel, undermining the system of government we have – the federal system, disregarding the separation of powers, destroying the authority of the parliament, and the judiciary system.
Hence, after three years in office, anyone expecting President Farmaajo to come to his senses and act presidential, respect the constitution, respect the separation of powers, hold fair and free elections, and put the unity and the wellbeing of our nation above all is unfortunately without a doubt mistaken.
In my observation, Farmaajo is a tyrant with a cruel intentions, surrounded by thugs and terrorists willing to do the dirty work for him, with that in mind, one thing is certain, and that’s Farmaajo and his thugs will not and I mean WILL NOT leave office and handover power in a peaceful manner, they’ll either be kicked out or they are there to stay with an iron fist.
Somalia is where it’s today, only because we had a wicked dictator and a regime that was so cruel to the people, and what was the consequences? A bloody civil war that contributed to the collapse of our country which lasted nearly 30 years.
Farmaajo who spent all of this time in Buffalo New York, is now leading Somalia to the same path, a path of conflict and destruction before our eyes and all we are doing is crying like babies, and hoping for the better, WE ARE DEAD WRONG. The time has come, we must understand the reality on the ground and say enough is enough, and stand up to Villa Somalia, we better stop them now or face the consequences which will likely be more severe than we had so far experienced.
You may ask the question what am I advocating for here?, I am advocating for the freedom and the rights of the Somali people who are living under a blockade imposed by none other than Farmaajo’s regime, those who cannot express their opinions, who don’t have the freedom of movement, who live with constant fear, those heartbroken mother’s whose sons are taken away forcefully by Farmaajo and his thugs and sent away to overseas, those who lost their loved ones, and the young generation who deserve a better future, and in order this to happen, we must and I mean must use any means necessary to confront Farmaajo and his thugs NOW or we are all doomed.
In the interview Farmaajo gave Universal Tv, although the interviewer did not ask follow up questions and the whole thing being heavily edited by Villa Somalia, one thing was very obvious, and that’s Farmaajo demonstrated very clearly his true intentions, no elections in 2021. He declared the process that made him a president unconstitutional! Paving the way for him to architecture the right process in line with the constitution, Its an insult to intuition!
Farmaajo and his thugs are destabilizing the federal member states, working day and night to install their preferred loyalists on the people and governments of these states using intimidation and blackmail, through economic sanctions and isolation and some financial incentives for those who choose to take their side. Remember people are dying of starvation feet’s away from where Farmaajo resides! All of these things are taking place simply because of their dangerous scheme to remain in office by any means necessary after 2021.
A credible, fair and free election, independent of the interference of Villa Somalia, must take place on 8th Feb, 2021, that is the only thing we should embrace and never accept anything less than that, it is better and more honourable to fight for our rights than to be led and oppressed by these thugs. The time has come where we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we must draw the lines and confront them at all cost, otherwise we are headed to a dead end.
Haddii waxbarashadaada jaamacaddeed ay saameyn kugu yeelan waydo, ogaaw waxbaa qaldan – maxaase qaldan?
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Dowladda Qadar oo $10 bilyan siineysa Turkey, ujeeddada waa maxay?
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Qalin-jabisaye qorshe ma siddaa?
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