MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somaliland has once again launched an assault on medical facilities, demonstrating a distressing pattern of disregard for humanitarian institutions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly condemned the latest attack on a healthcare facility in the Las Anod city in northern Somalia
According to the WHO, the clashes also destroyed two ambulances and marked the fifth time the facility has been targeted since violence erupted in Las Anod last year.
“In situations where healthcare systems are already fragile, attacks on health care have devastating consequences going beyond the loss of lives of health workers and the patients they might have saved,” said WHO Somalia Representative Mamunur Rahman Malik in a statement from Mogadishu.
Malik explained that thousands could die annually from lack of access to care as facilities are damaged and provision of healthcare becomes too dangerous. He appealed for the protection of health workers and universal access to care irrespective of involvement in the conflict.
The WHO extended condolences to families of the killed and injured health workers. Regional Director Ahmed Al-Mandhari urged all warring parties to respect the neutrality of healthcare and obligations to provide care.
The clashes in the Laascaanood threaten to exacerbate Somalia’s fragile healthcare system. The WHO reiterated that attacks targeting health facilities have severe humanitarian impacts far beyond the direct casualties.
The attack on Lasaanood Hospital serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for accountability and measures to prevent future assaults on medical facilities. It is crucial for relevant authorities and international organizations to thoroughly investigate these incidents, hold the perpetrators accountable, and implement measures that ensure the safety and security of medical institutions in the region.