About Somaliland Family Health

What is SOFHA

The Problem

Somaliland Family Health Association

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.

Most Somaliland women have:

Family Planning as a Preventative Health Measure

Family Planning as a Health Promotion Tool

When Promoting Child Spacing, we also offer information on:

The Obstacles

What's in the way of Family Planning in Somaliland?

The Solution

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

SOFAH Program Areas

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.

Counseling Skills:

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

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?

Project Activities