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Ministry of Health Continues to Spend Vast Sums on COVID-Related Equipment and Supplies

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According to government records seen by Somaliland Chronicle, the Ministry of Health Development has spent 422,000 US dollars on COVID-19 supplies, reagents, and information technology infrastructure, including a new mobile application and equipment such as passport readers. 

The Ministry of Health Development spent 193,589.65 US dollars on 20,000 security letterheads, a mobile application for COVID-19 vaccination, passport readers, and assorted information technology-related items for the Ministry of Health Development.

DatePurposeCompanyAmount (US$)
Oct-22Letter Heads with Security FeaturesGTS (Global Tech Solutions) LTD $90,260.00
Oct-22Mobile application for authentication of COVID-19 certificateGTS (Global Tech Solutions) LTD $50,527.55
Oct-22Passport ReaderGTS (Global Tech Solutions) LTD $26,401.05
Oct-22Passport ReaderGTS (Global Tech Solutions) LTD $26,401.05
Total $193,589.65

While Somaliland continues to invest heavily and even build out a new infrastructure to manage the requirement of COVID-19 negative PCR tests for travelers, many countries in the region and around the world have eliminated such requirements. Currently, travelers cannot board flights out of Egal International Airport without a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued by the Ministry of Health Development in Hargeisa Group Hospital at the cost of 45 US dollars per person.

It is unclear why the Ministry of Health Development would need passport readers and spend over 90,000 US dollars on documents with security features for the negative test of COVID-19 and if passport readers will be deployed at Egal International, and if these additional checks resulted from a security breach of their existing procedures.

In addition to the 193,590.65 US dollars the Ministry of Health Development spent on the IT infrastructure in October 2022, it has spent an additional 228,520.27 US dollars on COVID-19 reagents from Modern Medical Laboratory since August 2022. 

DatePurposeCompanyAmount (US$)
Aug-22COVID-19 reagentsModern Medical Laboratory $52,802.10
Sep-22COVID-19 reagentsModern Medical Laboratory $52,802.10
Oct-22COVID-19 reagentsModern Medical Laboratory $17,311.87
Oct-22COVID-19 reagentsModern Medical Laboratory $52,802.10
Nov-22COVID-19 reagentsModern Medical Laboratory $52,802.10
Total $228,520.27

We have previously reported that Modern Medical Laboratory which has sold $766,369.69 worth of COVID-19 reagents between March 2021 and June 2022 and it is run by Mr. Mr. Abdirahman Hassan Derie, a Presidential appointee to represent Somaliland on the DP World Berbera venture since former President Ahmed Mohamoud Siilanyo’s government.

BIOSOM, another company that has been selling the Ministry of Health COVID-19 reagents, has had no business dealings with the Ministry since our reporting on the subject.

BIOSOM is owned and operated by government employees who work at the COVID-19 testing facility at the Hargeisa Group Hospital. These employees include the Deputy Head of the testing facility, Mr. Hassan Mohamed Abdi, and Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Hergeye, the brother of the Ministry of Health Development’s Director General Mr. Mohamed Abdi Hergeye.

The Ministry of Health’s generous expenditure on COVID-19 stands in stark contrast to its non-existent efforts to combat the Dengue fever that has been ravaging Somaliland in the past few months. So far, the ministry’s financial records do not show any expenditure on Dengue fever.

Our efforts to reach the Minister of Health, Mr. Hasan Mohamed Ali Gafadhi, the Deputy Minister Mr. Liban Yusuf Osman, and the Director General Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Hergeye to ask how much was being spent on Dengue fever compared to COVID-19 were unsuccessful.

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