SHINE Supply reinstating Somalia District Health Management Team operationalization
When you walk into Waaberi health center maternity ward, you will find midwives and their assistants busy coordinating with the patients and carrying out their work with commitment and passion.
Twenty-six years ago, 47 year old Hawa Ibrahim Ali started out as a midwife in these same corridors when the country was in turmoil. “We had fewer resources to give mothers a decent health package when the war broke out. There were no systems in place, and we had to work with what we had to save the life of mothers and their unborn children”, says Hawa.
She was nominated as Waaberi District health officer of the year in 2014 by the Regional Medical Officer from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH). However, due to a lack of resources, the title was just a name and it didn’t become functional until 2019 with the support of SHINE Supply.
“Despite having a DHO title, I was working as Waaberi health center incharges from 2014 to 2018. When the SHINE Supply programme came onboard, I was able to take up my role as district health officer for Waaberi district. With capacity building from the MoH and Action Against Hunger (AAH – implementing partner for SHINE Supply in Banadir) project team, plus a well-equipped office, I am glad to say that I am a functional DHO for Waaberi district and I carry out my routine activities”, says Hawa Ibrahim.
She continued by saying “With the support of SHINE Supply, I arrange monthly coordination meetings (between the implementing partner, district commissioner officer, regional medical officer and private hospital and clinics in Waaberi district). This level of improvement was due to the SHINE Supply project funded by UK aid, by creating a good working environment and platform to solve and overcome the challenges as a team”.
The District health officers, through the health management team, come together on a monthly basis with the regional medical officer for coordination and trainings. This provides them with an opportunity to share learning, discuss and solve challenges, and develop a coordinated, harmonized approach to service provision; more effective as well as cost-efficient. This is all a collaborative task between the FMoH and consortium partners.
Hawa is proud to have encountered and solved many issues since she started her role. One such challenge occurred during the selection process for Waaberi health facility staff. She encountered misunderstanding towards staff selection with the MoH HR and district team. Thanks to close coordination, the issue was solved with a clear, transparent selection criteria in line with EPHS.
Hawa is now in a better position now to oversee the health services in Waaberi district. “I am proud of what we have been able to achieve as a district team in the last year. I have been given a voice to raise issues on the gaps and challenges of the health facilities that I manage. I work hand in hand with my staff and offer them guidance whenever I can. When structures are put in place, the systems work for the good of every person, be it for the staff, senior management levels or even the beneficiaries”, says a cheerful Hawa – “That is what I am grateful for with the introduction of SHINE Suppy programme in the health system and facilities.”