Somali Diaspora in Finland Helps Revitalize Northern Somalia's Health Sector

Medical doctors, nurses, health administrators and other health
professionals living in Finland will now be able to share the
knowledge and skills acquired in Finland with fellow health
practitioners working in the northern Somali regions of Puntland
and Somaliland.

Up to 50 health professionals will be selected over the next
three years to carry out field assignments for up to 12 months in
northern Somalia as part of the second phase of the Migration for
Development in Africa (MIDA) FINNSOM Health programme.

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Health programme

Formal training, on-the-job mentoring and institutional planning
will be among the main tasks carried out over the next three years
by participating Somali health professionals.

The programme, which enjoys the full support of the Finnish
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, also seeks to promote sustainable
partnerships between Finnish and Somali healthcare institutions and
aims to see immediate benefits achieved by Finland's overall
development assistance in the Horn of Africa.

"The initiation of this second phase recognizes the previous
achievements of highly qualified Somali health professionals who
contributed to the rehabilitation of Somalia's dilapidated health
infrastructure," says Juan Daniel Reyes who coordinates IOM's MIDA
programme in Helsinki. "It also highlights Finland's leading role
in mobilizing migrant communities as vehicles of peace and

A total of 22 health assignments were carried out as part of the
first phase of the project, which ran from July 2008 to December
2009.  Those included training of nursing students, teaching
of psychiatry to medical students, and on-the-job training in
orthopaedic surgery.

With a population of over 9,000 persons of Somali descent, the
Somali diaspora is the largest non-European ethnic minority in
Finland.  Through an extensive network of civil and
community-based organizations, and the support of the Finnish
Government and NGOs, Somalis in Finland have throughout the years
contributed to the rehabilitation of their war-shattered

For more information on the MIDA Finnsom Health programme,
please go to "" target="_blank" title=

or contact:

Juan Daniel Reyes

IOM Helsinki

Tel: +358 9 684 1150

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