The Durable Solutions Unit of the Benadir Regional Administration unveils first-ever COVID-19 Community-based Study in Mogadishu
Today, the Durable Solutions Unit of the Benadir Regional Administration launched an informative report on the findings of a Cross-Sectional Community-based Study on COVID-19 at a high-profile event held at Mogadishu’s Jazeera Hotel. The study was conducted by the BRA’s Durable Solutions Unit with significant support from the European Union and other collaborative partners. The two-month survey was conducted from 8 June to 20 July 2020 and was conducted in all the 17 districts of Mogadishu with the support of a 392-community health workforce, mapping areas with possible, probable and self-report confirmed COVID-19 cases to enable stakeholders to respond in a timely and efficient manner. Speaking at the report launch event, Dr Hodan Ali, Head of the Durable Solutions Unit and a senior health advisor to the Mogadishu Mayor, said: “During this study, 2566 people reported they had COVID-19 like symptoms, but they have not made self-test due to stigma. Research, data and knowledge management is needed to provide appropriate government interventions”. The Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir Region Omar Mohamoud Mohamed who graced the event shared his commitment to research and knowledge management being a cornerstone of the BRA’s strategy to many challenges facing Somalia’s most populous region. The data was collected using an open-source digital syndromic survey developed by the BRA and a Canadian not-for-profit organization, Flatten. The survey included various demographic, socioeconomic, health, housing, health awareness and mobility questions related to Covid-19 and service delivery by the municipality and other stakeholders beyond COVID-19. A total of 68,635 households (79,758 Mogadishu residents) were surveyed as part of this study, 37 per cent men and the remaining 63 per cent women. In future, the BRA is expanding the survey to include a prospective cohort study across Mogadishu to attain pertinent data to monitor COVId-19 in Mogadishu and determine what stage the city is on the epidemic curve. It is the first time that the Municipality of Mogadishu has led in the collection of the pertinent information on syndromic data on COVID-19, demographics and socio-economic data. The launch of the event was also graced by the European Union Representative for Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga, Assistant Minister for Labor and Social Affairs Ms. Sahra Hussein Ali and her Health and Human Services counterpart Dr. Ahmed Hussein among other high-profile dignitaries, panellists and participants.