Title: Malnutrition and morbidity trends in Somalia between 2007 and 2016: results from 291 cross-sectional surveys
Citation: BMJ OPEN vol. 10 no. 2 p. 1-12
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC118123
ISSN: 2044-6055 (online)
URI: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/2/e033148?rss=1
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033148
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Background More than two decades of conflict and natural disasters in Somalia have resulted in one of the longest running humanitarian crises in the world. Nutrition data have been collected over the years despite challenges to inform programmatic action. This paper explores malnutrition and morbidity trends in Somalia during the last decade, disaggregated by geographical zone and livelihood system. Methods We used data from 291 cross-sectional surveys conducted in children aged 6–59 months between 2007 and 2016 in Somalia. Wasting, morbidity and stunting prevalences over time were analysed by geographic area, livelihood system and season. Logistic regressions were used to test trends. Results The wasting trends show a striking peak in 2011, more marked in southern and central Somalia and coinciding with the famine declaration. The trend declines slightly thereafter although not consistently across all zones and livelihoods, and it raises again in 2016 especially among internally displaced persons (IDPs). Stunting declined for all groups and in all zones but with more consistent patterns in northern Somalia. Morbidity also showed a declining trend, although with multiple peaks depicting disease outbreaks. Pastoralist showed the lowest stunting estimates overall, while agrarian populations showed the lowest prevalence of wasting and morbidity. IDPs were the most affected by all outcomes. Seasonality affected the three outcomes differently by livelihood system. Stunting rates increased after the 2011 famine for all age groups within children under 5 years. Conclusions Despite the continuous complex situation in Somalia, there has been a sustained decline in stunting and morbidity in the last decade. Wasting trends have remained at very high levels especially in north-east and the south zones of Somalia. The findings support the importance of performing trend analyses disaggregated by zone and livelihood groups within countries to better identify priorities for programme intervention.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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