• Somalia, invasion of locusts: "It's a national emergency"
  • Somalia, Al-Shabaab attack on hotels: over 20 dead, dozens injured
  • Somalia, assault on the Asasey Hotel in Kismayo
  • Kenya, Silvia Romano brought to Somalia after the kidnapping


21 May 2020At least 170 doctors and operators in the front row in the fight against Covid-19 are attending an online seminar in Somalia on the new coronavirus animated by experts and professors of a consortium of Italian universities, from Federico II of Naples to that of Brescia.

"Yesterday the lesson was held on lung diseases in general, with an anatomical-pathological analysis of the damages caused in particular by Covid-19 also at a cellular and systemic level", reports to the agency Dire Guglielmo Giordano, representative of the Agency in Mogadishu Italian for development cooperation (Aics). "Today, however, three clinical-therapeutic modules begin, perhaps the most awaited, not only in the capital, but also by those who follow connected in the stations set up in the other states of the country".

The course is promoted by the Italian Cooperation together with the Somali National University and a network of universities supported by UNESCO. According to Giordano, the commitment is to continue and deepen a path started years ago, centered on the right to health and training. "Since 2015, we have been supporting the revival of the Somali National University which closed after the end of the Siad Barre regime in 1991" underlines the representative of Aics.

"Over the years, new courses have opened and Italian universities have been asked to help, they have activated themselves with a consortium involving the best faculties and talents". One of the challenges, with the funding of third level education, a distinctive commitment of the Italian Cooperation, "would be to equip the public administration with young cadres capable of replacing the current managers, graduates before 1991 and close to retirement".

The seminar is attended by teachers and experts from many universities, from Sapienza to Roma Tre, from Florence to the polytechnics of Milan and Turin, from Rome Tor Vergata to the medical faculty of Pavia. Logistic organization is not obvious.

"Even before Covid-19, with Somalia among the most affected countries in the Horn of Africa, there were problems of moving due to the risk of terrorist attacks," said Giordano. "For this reason, a conference room was rented in one of the safest hotels in Mogadishu, where 37 people were following yesterday; and in connection with another 43 workstations throughout Somalia, with the participation of the doctors in the front row in the recognized anti- Covid ". Among these, the Giacomo De Martino hospital, built by the Italians during the colonial period, which became a reference center against the new coronavirus at a national level.