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Somalia confirms first cases of influenza A (H1N1

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  • Somalia confirms first cases of influenza A (H1N1

    Somalia confirms first cases of influenza A (H1N1), although the WHO hopes that the outbreak is controlled

    The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that they have confirmed the first cases of influenza A (H1N1) in Somalia, saying it has conducted 70 training health workers in the self-declared republic of Somaliland and Puntland to contribute to the direction, evaluation, reporting of disease outbreaks and social mobilization, control of infection and vaccination.
    Europa Press

    "Two of the ten samples tested positive for the H1N1 pandemic strain on 3 November at the Medical Research Institute of Kenya (KEMRI) in Nairobi," said the director of the focal point for Somalia WHO Fuje Mahamud Mohamed, told the news agency UN humanitarian, IRIN, noting that Somalia is the last country in the eastern Mediterranean region to confirm the disease.

    Fuje added that sanitary measures be extended to the central and southern Somalia in a short time to strengthen disease surveillance by the WHO, and indicated that the goal is to train sufficient number of persons and, "if we do this I am confident that we can deal with any outbreak. "

    The health minister of Puntland, Ali Bihi Bahsa said today that the region has begun the vaccination for pilgrims bound for Mecca. "We have begun to vaccinate the haj pilgrims, and we are carrying out prevention campaigns," said Bihi. "We are preparing for a major campaign to sensitize the people of the danger and how to prevent infection," he added.

    The WHO said the personal protective equipment and laboratory kits to diagnose the disease and have been distributed in Somalia for the control of infections and rapid diagnosis. Fuje also indicated that lack of funds is "seriously damaging efforts to increase social mobilization and community awareness to prevent the disease."

    The major limitations are the lack of an effective system to detect the disease with which it could detect early cases of diseases such as influenza, WHO stresses. The absence of appropriate laboratory facilities in the country has led to delays in the identification and confirmation of the H1N1 virus and delays in responding, so the UN agency recommends establishing a national center for influenza