Italy to finance construction of 68-bed military hospital in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Italian government sponsored the construction of a 68-bed health facility for the Somali National Army [SNA], with the African Union mission forces [AMISOM] should take full control of the project to be established in Mogadishu.
AMISOM said the project will be implemented under the early recovery and stabilization program. These are projects carried out in a short period of time with the aim of helping the Horn of Africa nation to stabilize itself.
The dedication ceremony took place on Monday at the former army hospital in the capital, Mogadishu. The Isbitaalka Xoogga was built in the 1960s but was destroyed during the years of the civil war in Somalia. The hospital is being rebuilt.
Alberto Vecchi, the Italian envoy to Somalia, said the agreement to establish the facility was a joint agreement between Rome and the African Union, which is only in charge of peacekeeping missions in the country.
“We are now here laying the foundation stone for this project which will serve to protect the courageous and effective soldiers of the SNA,” Ambassador Vecchi said.
“It won’t be a finished job when the hospital is built. Once completed, we will continue to support and help the Somali government and people to keep it going. We will find a way, together, according to your needs, ”added Ambassador Vecchi, as he pledged to support his country’s support for the reconstruction and stabilization of Somalia.
Simon Mulongo, the deputy special representative of the president of the African Union, noted that the construction of the facility will significantly improve Somalia’s dilapidated health system.
“This hospital will not only be a reference center for the army, but should be transformed into a research and development center for the army. Around the world, military personnel are ahead of everyone else in identifying the challenges their communities face through research and development. Problems of new diseases, new health challenges, we are turning to the military to give us answers even before the civilian community does, ”he noted.
Somali Defense Force Chief Gen. Odowa Yusuf Rage said the demand for a military hospital resulted from the need for specialized medical equipment and health personnel to deal with the various health issues facing the men. and women in uniform.
“In the past, this hospital not only provided services to military personnel, but also looked after the civilian population. Now we will have a 68 bed facility to meet the needs of the military. In the past, Isbitaalka Xoogga was renowned for having the best medical and research experts. We hope to be able to once again have the best experts here, ”noted General Odowa.
Italy was the colonial ruler of Somalia and worked closely with other stakeholders to improve health systems in the country. On the other hand, AMISOM is making difficult decisions, whether it is to continue operating in Somalia or to form a joint mission with the United Nations.