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Somalia requests help re: H1N1 [Note: no recorded cases yet]

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  • Somalia requests help re: H1N1 [Note: no recorded cases yet]

    [Note: Somalia is on the UN list of "least-developed countries", so it's likely international organizations/UN/WHO will help it. In addition, there are a number of these caring organizations and also of NGOs in this war-torn country.]

    Somalia warns of possible A/H1N1 flu outbreak, appeals for int'l support

    2009-07-29 16:28:53

    MOGADISHU, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The Somali government on Wednesday warned of a possible spread of the A/H1N1 pandemic into the war-wrecked Horn of Africa nation, calling on the international community and the World Health Organization (WHO) for assistance.

    "We know of no case of the A/H1N1 flu in the country but we worry about the possibility of the spread of the disease because of the fact that cases of the disease were found in neighboring countries with whom we have pervious borders," Qamar Aden Ali, Somali Health Minister told Xinhua.

    Ali appealed to the international community and WHO for assistance in preventing the occurrence of the flu whose presence in the country is not yet known.

    "We lack the technical capability to diagnose the disease and the necessary drugs to treat it. So we call upon the international community particularly the World Health Organization to give us the necessary drugs and technical advice and training for our health staff," said the minister.

    Some cases of the epidemic were found in neighboring Kenya last month. Kenya shares long and largely unprotected border with southern Somalia.

    The A/H1N1 flu was declared global pandemic by WHO after it spread out of Mexico to reach as far as Asia, Europe, and Africa.

    The Somali government has been struggling with an Islamist insurgency since it was established in 2004 after protracted peace talks between warring clan-based Somali factions in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. The Horn of Africa nation's health infrastructure has but collapsed during years of conflicts.