Somalia Launches Game-changing Report on Health and Lives of Somalis, including Hard-to-Reach Nomadic Communities

MOGADISHU, 30 April 2020 – A new report launched today by Somalia—titled the Somalia Health and Demographic Survey (SHDS) Report 2020—offers the country’s decision makers and stakeholders vital information on the health and lives of Somali women of childbearing ages and children.

By turning the voices of Somalis from more than 100,000 urban and rural households, as well as difficult to reach nomadic households, into statistics, the report shines a spotlight on the most pressing needs of Somali communities, particularly of women and children.

?The SHDS report provides information on housing and household characteristics, health, education, marriage, fertility, birth spacing, employment, water and sanitation, health expenditure, chronic diseases, and children’s and women’s nutrition. It also offers information on married women’s knowledge of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and attitudes towards people living with HIV, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, female circumcision, and adult and maternal mortality.

The report reveals that gains have been made in important areas:

  • The maternal mortality rate, which has been one of the worst worldwide, has reduced from 732 in 2015 to 692.
  • Early marriages—known to deprive women of opportunities to reach their full potential—have reduced among women aged 20-24, from 46 percent in 20061 to 36 percent.
  • More than three-quarters of Somali households own simple mobile phones, and around six out of ten nomadic households own simple mobile telephones with access to fm radio, opening doors to endless opportunities for these individuals.

Somali women are empowered to make financial choices—nine out of ten women decide on how their cash earnings will be spent, either individually or jointly with their husbands, and around six out of ten women of childbearing age use their phones for financial transactions