About us

Hagarla Institute is an organization that improves Public health in Africa through Research, Education and Community health delivery.

Our Vision

Improving the availability and affordability of public health across Africa

Our Mission

Providing knowledge and skills to improve the quality of healthcare systems within Africa

Our Background

Somalia is one of the most fragile states in the world, with one of the most complex and protracted conflicts. The Somali government has endorsed a national health policy and developed comprehensive Health Service Specification Projects  (HSSPs) for 2013–2016 in Somalia’s three zones – South Central Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland. The decentralization policy is widely supported, but it has not been effectively implemented and continues to face significant challenges. There are many reasons for this lack of implementation: many healthcare workers have left Somalia; there is a nationwide lack of accountability and transparency; regulation of health professionals and facilities and enforcement of health regulations are almost nonexistent; public health laws are outdated and have not been reviewed for more than 25 years. 

Per capita, public expenditure on health is about US$ 10–12 per person per year, which increases the risk of a financial burden, especially on poor populations with high out‐of‐pocket expenditure. In absolute terms, there has been a significant increase in funding for the Somalia health sector over the past ten years. Conventional donors provided US$ 53.6 million in 2005, increasing to US$ 103 million in 2009 and approximately US$ 150 million in 2014. There is, however, an element of fatigue in humanitarian funding.  

The number and density of doctors, nurses and midwives in Somalia remain below 4 per 10 000 population, which is far below the minimum threshold of 23 recommended by WHO. It is difficult to recruit qualified healthcare workers to fill this gap because civil service commissions provide only a limited number of posts for trained health professionals. There are no incentives to attract and deploy health workers to rural and remote areas. 

These difficulties handed the majority of health institutions in the hands of private, profit-oriented business people. As a result, the quality of healthcare in Somalia went down, and its cost rose to the point that many middle- and lower-class Somalis cannot afford it. Further, higher education institutions of the country cannot produce highly-trained medical care professionals needed in Somalia. The doctors, nurses, and midwives that graduate from our universities need capacity-building programs to strengthen their medical skills. 


  • Lack of medical and environmental health research
  • Unaffordable health care services
  • Low quality of healthcare education


Our Focus Areas


 Medical research 

We conducted: COVID-19 community based cross sectional study.

Current working on Breast and cervical cancer and NCDs and Mental health

Environmental health

During the 2011-2012 famine crisis, the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation (DHAF) designed and implemented an agro-forestry initiative to alleviate extreme food insecurity among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Afgooye Corridor. In 2011, DHAF met with an interdisciplinary team of experts at Harvard University to address the food security crisis in Somalia. In 2012, under Dr. Deqo’s leadership, that team created

a nursery of Moringa Oleifera trees on DHAF property in Lafoole, to create a new food source for the most vulnerable people in Somalia.



Continuing Medical Education 

Hagarla Institute identifies gaps in the Somali public health system through research and assessments. We created a unique approach to organize Continues Medical Education Courses for young doctors, health professionals, and medical students to strengthen their medical knowledge and skills. 

Online Awareness Programs 

Our online medical awareness campaign features all International health days that are designated for various diseases. For instance, World AIDS Day, and similar days we invite local and international medical experts “Doctors” on that particular disease to a webinar. The Webinars are open to everyone to join.

Community Health Care Centers 

Hagarla runs Community Health Centers in Ceelasha and Oodweyne.  We offer mother and children care, pap smears, STI testing, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and blood work and consultation. 

These community health centers cater to the community by providing affordable health services. So far, our community health centers served 1,388 people. Patients from these areas do not have access to private hospitals because these communities are predominantly poor.



    Mobile Clinic

    Our first project aim is delivering world-class health service, building the capacity of our local midwives, and conducting research on factors that contribute to reducing maternal mortality in rural areas of Somalia and Somali-Ethiopian region. By looking at Anemia, Postpartum hemorrhage, and infections.