Somaliland Health System Touched by IMU Africa Health Studies Research Center


Our faculty members organized medical courses on various topics in Somaliland from 20 to 28 December 2019 as per the collaboration protocol between Istanbul Medeniyet University and Hargeisa University in the capital of Somaliland that has been in effect since 2018. In addition to the assistant trainings and Emergency Medicine and Trauma Course provided by Istanbul Medeniyet University Africa Health Studies Research Center (MASAM), our faculty members also carried out patient operations and physical examinations.  

Somaliland is a self-declared state with an estimated population of four million located in the horn of Africa to the north of the continent which declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognized internationally and is still considered as a region on Somalia. All education systems and chiefly medical education in the country were adversely affected by civil wars and the participants of the trainings and meetings declared that the people in the region have embraced the training program provided with the support of our University and want it to continue.

As a unit of Istanbul Medeniyet University, MASAM continues to deliver various theoretical and practical courses in surgery and medicine in Uganda, Sudan, Somali, and Somaliland and to develop new trainings for African Continent. During the Center’s course in Somaliland, the competence, devotedness and willingness to learn and help on the part of the assistant doctors of General Surgery and Cardiology who still continue their studies in Turkey and of those assistants working in the field instilled hope in our team for the future by showing the success of the project.  

More than 80 people participated in the trainings including assistant doctors, assistants, medical students, and nurses. The trainings held in Hargeisa University Medical Faculty Hospital consisted of theoretical courses particularly on emergency medicine, trauma medicine, cardiology and pediatric emergencies and also practical training sessions for groups on trauma stabilization techniques, airway management, surgical suture techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation, and cardioversion.

During and after the training sessions, our team of surgeons worked 24/7 to carry out advanced surgical operations on the patients who needed them. Thus, our team performed operations of colon cancer, ovary cancer, breast cancer, biliary tract surgery, thyroid surgery, and hernioplasty. The Turkish Red Crescent team who accompanied our medical team donated operating room medical supplies to Hargesia Group Hospital, a public hospital in Somaliland.

The team members who delivered the courses and carried out surgical operations in Somaliland consist of faculty members of İstanbul Medeniyet University including Prof. Dr. Orhan Alimoğlu of the Department of General Surgery, Prof. Dr. Hüsnü Fahri Ovalı of Pediatrics Department, Asst. Prof. Kurtuluş Açıksarı of Emergency Medicine Department, Asst. Prof. Mustafa Adem Tatlısu of Cardiology Department, and Res. Asst. Dr. Nuray Çolapkulu of Emergency Medicine Department, as well as Prof. Dr. Doğaç Niyazi Özüçelik of Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Health Sciences Social Services Department, and Obstetrician and Gynecologist Op. Dr. Sema Ovalı.

During their stay in Somaliland, the team of our faculty members also held meetings with President of Somaliland Musa Bihi Abdi, Somaliland Health Minister and Turkish Consul to Somaliland, as well as the rectors and deans of medicine faculties of Amoud, Hargeisa, Gollis and Franz Fanon Universities. During the meetings, the parties discussed the necessary arrangements to improvement and regional promotion of our project, which is the only formal assistant training program started in 2018 and still continued by Istanbul Medeniyet University.