Somalia micronutrient survey 2019

Provides an overview of the nutrition status of women and children in Somalia over the past decade



The survey was conducted by Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNICEF Somalia.

The survey aimed to provide a comprehensive picture of nutrition indicators in Somalia and review the past decade to see if there are improvements.

The nutrition status of women of reproductive age and children under five years was assessed by the survey. This up-to-date information will be used to develop evidence-based policies to improve nutrition in Somalia.

Key Methods:

Five geographic areas and a sixth group including internally displaced people (IDPs) across the country made up the six strata of the study. Data was collected between December 2018 and July 2019. Information from blood samples was gathered to check for vitamin and mineral deficiencies including iron, folate, vitamin B12, zinc and vitamin A. Children’s growth was also assessed and thinness, overweight and obesity were measured in women. Malaria in women and children and the iodine content of water and salt was also examined.

Key Results:

  • 17% of children showed signs of chronic malnourishment. This irreversible condition, stunting, curtails their physical and cognitive growth.
  • 11% of children suffered from acute malnutrition and were too thin for their height (wasting).
  • 13% of the children had nutrition problems related to inadequate diets (underweight).
  • Internally displaced children consistently had the poorest results: 28% suffered from stunting and 23% were underweight.
  • More than 40% of women and children were anemic and over 26% had iron deficiency anemia, while 34% of children and 11% of women had vitamin A deficiency.

Key Recommendations:

  • Continue work to improve the diets of children and start creating programs that focus on the diets of women, especially pregnant women. Provide nutrition supplements, information and food programs to ensure people eat enough and eat the right foods.
  • Improve infant and young child feeding practices to increase dietary diversity, improving the uptake of vitamins and minerals. Provide iron through food or supplements to boost children’s energy, enhance their ability to learn and improve future economic growth.
  • Tackle vitamin A deficiency in children to improve their immunity and decrease illnesses.

For more information, please contact the Federal Ministry of Health

Ministry of Health FGS, FMS, Somaliland, UNICEF, Brandpro, GroundWork
Publication date

Download the report

(PDF, 3,20 MB)