Somalia is a country that has known war and conflict for the longest time. War and conflict have brought devastating effects on Somalia's economy and infrastructure. But the most shattering repercussions of the endless and always simmering tensions are on human lives.
Often, victims in Somalia are unable to receive adequate medical help that may be crucial in saving their lives simply because of a lack of a national blood bank.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that it will set up a national blood bank in Somalia for the first time in more than two decades.
This announcement came on the backdrop of the second anniversary of the deadliest bomb attack on Mogadishu (the country's capital) which had a disturbing number of casualties as nearly 600 people were killed. Scores of hundreds were wounded in the blast.
Since 14 October 2017, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials blamed the Mogadishu lorry attack on al-Shabaab (which is linked to al-Qaeda) but the group said that they were not behind the deadly bombing. However many Somalis at the time demonstrated against al-Shabaab saying they were behind the attacks. They expressed their defiance by wearing red cloth around their foreheads to show solidarity with the victims.
The introduction of a national blood bank is a very bold and much-needed measure by the country to give welfare to victims of violence.
Due to the terrorist attacks, many people die due to bleeding, as said by the country's Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre. He said many Somalis "die of bleeding, with a majority of the victims being pregnant mothers and victims of terrorist attacks."
"This facility would have a storage capacity of 10,000 units of blood. It is one of the lessons from the 14 October bombing incident," the Prime Minister said.
"It is truly inspiring that you are today constructing and laying the foundation stone for the national blood bank."
In an environment where there is uncertainty as regards peace and stability, the strong-willed intention to establish a national blood bank is a huge milestone that should be celebrated.
The civil war that engulfed the country in 1991 led to the collapse of almost all the key sectors of the country that keep everything running normal and efficient. Vital state agencies suffered as a result of this, and re-building some of them is a really herculean task.
Such a task requires the collective efforts of the county's public sectors so that the ailing health system in Somalia can be resuscitated.
Header Image Credit - Voice of Nigeria