About Somaliland Family Health
What is SOFHA
- A National NGO
- A non-profit, non political organization
- Addressing Reproductive Health Issues
- Working in all the regions of Somaliland
- Committed to Transparency and efficiency
- Collaborating with others for successful outcomes
- The first registered family planning association in Somaliland
Somali women have one of the world's highest Maternal Mortality rates. These are deaths caused by a condition which is associated with pregnancy or child birth.
It is estimated that 16 women out of every 1000 die of these causes. That's nearly 4000 women each year.
Somali Children have one of the least chances of survival and, unfortunately, many die of causes that could have been averted.
- 1 in 8 babies die before age one
- 1 in 5 children die before age five
Most Somaliland women have:
- Little or no reproductive health knowledge
- Insufficient prenatal and postnatal care
- Little access to child spacing solutions
Family Planning as a Preventative Health Measure
- In reducing Maternal Mortality
- In reducing Infant Mortality
- In reducing other risks related to pregnancy and child birth
- In working toward regulating products
Family Planning as a Health Promotion Tool
When Promoting Child Spacing, we also offer information on:
- Prenatal and Postnatal Care
- Child Care
What's in the way of Family Planning in Somaliland?
- Myths and Misconceptions
- Limited Access to safe and appropriate information about Family Planning Services
- Unregulated Products
- Untrained Practitioners
An Entity dedicated exclusively to Family Planning; which equips and strengthens already existing health facilities with the training and tools they need to provide accurate, appropriate and timely reproductive health information.
That entity is SOFAH.
Hospitals and MCHs are burdened with dealing with emergency and critical medical cases. They do not have the resources to engage in advocacy and preventative health campaigns.
SOFAH is well placed to promote Family Planning in Somaliland
Somaliland Family Planning – Some Guidelines
- We do not support criminally induced abortions
- We DO promote strong moral values
- We DO stress child spacing
- We DO co-operate through mainstream health facilities
- We DO offer Infertilty diagnosis and treatment options
SOFAH Program Areas
- Family Planning/Child Spacing
- Diagnosis and Support
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Combating Female Genital Mutilation
Family Planning/Child Spacing
Accurate information about natural methods and proven and safe medical interventions.
Accessible: service should be close to home and available where other health needs are accessed.
Affordable: working with government, aid agencies and the private sector to make family planning services affordable.
Clearing up myths and misconception: clarifying the religious permissibility of child spacing and the cultural traditions of the practice... child spacing is still commonly practiced in the 'mii'.
Those Dealing With Infertility
In many cases couples dealing with infertility have treatable issues. They often spend years waiting and worrying and may engage in various traditional healing methods that could harm them…early and accurate diagnosis is the answer.
Many couples go to Ethiopia or other neighboring countries for treatment when the same treatment is available Somaliland Sometimes it's just a matter of not knowing that those services are available locally.
All health matters are personal and sensitive, infertility is no different. To ensure couples will seek help they must be assured their privacy will be respected.
Training: SOFAH's Core
Sound Skills Base in Reproductive Health and Family Planning knowledge
Training will be provided by qualified health professionals with experience and the respect of their peers.
Learned and Applied –Counseling involves unique methods of listening, recording information and imparting advice, counseling training will be provided by counselors that have been trained abroad and have applied that knowledge in their work.
The core of the tanning program. People will not seek family planning advice if they don't trust the health system and are ensured their privacy will be protected....
Documentation and Record Keeping –to keep track of who is seeking the service in terms of gender, age, number of previous children, where information about service was learned, what kind of service was requested and so on…this kind of information will help in the design and implementation of future projects.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM effects the reproductive Health Lives of girls and women. There are physical as well as emotional consequences
The campaign has been active for many years, and real positive impact can be seen. Many people seem to be aware of the harmful health effects and the religious stance against FGM but more can be done, especially outside the main urban areas.
We'll work closely with other organizations in the field, and with religious and traditional leaders to bring an end to this harmful practice.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
We are fortunate in Somaliland that we have low prevalence of most STDs due to various reasons including cultural and religious principles that curb the spread of these diseases.
Let's capitalize on the situation and insure STDs including HIV/AIDS do not spread in our society.
Fighting the spread of STDs will include 3 core components
Advocacy - Examples of issues we will undertake
School: A place for young girls
- A place where young girls can get accurate information about reproductive health; and
- appropriate facilities so studies are not interrupted
- equipping schools and training teachers to handle the issue with knowledge and sensitivity
Families have the right to seek Child Spacing Services
without feeling exposed or judged... how can we help to make that happen
Baseline Data about Family Planning needs of the community and current available services
Attitudes and expectations toward Family Planning among different groups: women, men, youth, health professionals, religious leaders
What methods, messages, approaches, are most likely to work?
- Collecting Baseline Data
- Awareness Raising Campaign
- Training Front Line Health Professionals
- Equipping health centres
- Establishing a network of like minded hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies
- Capacity Building