Media centre

Tragic Mogadishu attack a blow to the health system in Somalia

4 December 2009

The attack on Thursday in Mogadishu that claimed the life of Somalia's Minister of Health, Dr Qamr Aden Ali, and several other senior government and community figures was a tragic blow to the nation's medical fraternity and underscores the urgent need for stabilization and security in the country.

Dr Ali was a tireless, energetic and influential advocate for health in Somalia who was determined to improve health standards and care for her fellow Somalis. Dr Ali worked very closely with the World Health Organization and was a strong supporter of WHO's activities to strengthen the country's health system.

The attack occurred during a ceremony for medical students graduating from Banadir University, a teaching institution that is training Somalis to be able to provide healthcare for the millions of Somalis suffering from decades of humanitarian crisis. WHO is supporting the training of medical students at the university through standardization of the curriculum, providing training materials and inviting professors to regional and international conferences.

WHO will continue working with Somali authorities and health providers to improve health care and conditions for the country's people. This attack serves only to reinforce WHO's commitment to the alleviating the country's health crisis and supporting those people who are determined to improve health care.