To assess life-saving and disability-preventing surgical services (including emergency, trauma, obstetrics, anaesthesia) of health facilities in Somalia and to assist in the planning of strategies for strengthening surgical care systems.
Health facilities in all 3 administrative zones of Somalia; northwest Somalia (NWS), known as Somaliland; northeast Somalia (NES), known as Puntland; and south/central Somalia (SCS).
14 health facilities.
The WHO Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care was employed to capture a health facility's capacity to deliver surgical and anaesthesia services by investigating four categories of data: infrastructure, human resources, interventions available and equipment.
The 14 facilities surveyed in Somalia represent 10 of the 18 districts throughout the country. The facilities serve an average patient population of 331 250 people, and 12 of the 14 identify as hospitals. While major surgical procedures were provided at many facilities (caesarean section, laparotomy, appendicectomy, etc), only 22% had fully available oxygen access, 50% fully available electricity and less than 30% had any management guidelines for emergency and surgical care. Furthermore, only 36% were able to provide general anaesthesia inhalation due to lack of skills, supplies and equipment. Basic supplies for airway management and the prevention of infection transmission were severely lacking in most facilities.
According to the results of the WHO Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care survey, there exist significant gaps in the capacity of emergency and essential surgical services in Somalia including inadequacies in essential equipment, service provision and infrastructure. The information provided by the WHO tool can serve as a basis for evidence-based decisions on country-level policy regarding the allocation of resources and provision of emergency and essential surgical services.