The goal of this article is to highlight best practices in Telemedicine as they are emerging during the Covid-19 pandemic and the barriers and facilitators to a successful Telehealth visit with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients.
August 3, 2020 · Article, PDF
A blog post about unique challenges Somali families face with social distancing and tips to help families stay safe.
May 26, 2020 · Article
Article about findings from a Somali health survey conducted in 2014 by the Somali Health Board of Seattle.
January 22, 2020 · Article
Resource providing information about Somali Bantu refugees including history and culture, traditional medicine and specific health concerns.
May 1, 2018 · Article
Brief article with background information and recommendations relevant to facilitating conversation with Somali patients about measles and MMR vaccine, including addressing concerns related to misinformation about link between MMR and autism.
April 26, 2018 · Article
video of a presentation about measles and the outbreak in the SeSomali community in Minnesota, with discussion and education about concern in Somali communities of perceived link between MMR vaccine and autism.
April 5, 2017 · Video
Pages developed with nurses and interpreters to aid caregivers in communicating basic information to their patients.
October 5, 2016
This book uses simple illustrations and basic definitions to describe male and female reproductive anatomy.
August 12, 2016 · PDF
In 2016, the Epidemiology and Research Literature Summary section of EthnoMed's Somali Refugee Mental Health Cultural Profile was updated with new information based on a review of research articles published 2004-2015. These updates are presented here.
July 21, 2016 · Article
In 2011 Public Health Seattle King County held focus groups with local Somali community leaders to learn about their attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding vaccination.
July 14, 2016 · Article
Information for diabetes educators about diabetes in the Somali refugee community, featuring information about religion, traditional diet and cultural beliefs, recommendations for providers and links to patient education resources.
December 18, 2015 · Article
This guide gives background and guidance for providers using the Somali narrated slideshow "What are Mammograms and Breast Cancer?”
November 10, 2015 · Article, PDF, Video
This is a 41 minute video presentation of a discussion led by Dr. Alex Molnar (Harborview Med Center/Univ of WA) with a community group of Cambodian Americans about the subjects of advance directives and end-of-life decision making.
October 2, 2015 · Video
Information about Somali service agencies, community organizations in and around Seattle.
August 10, 2015 · Article
Recommendations for OB providers about Somali women's preferences for education and approaches to care during prenatal period and labor/delivery.
September 30, 2014 · PDF
Features videos of native speakers saying phrases of courtesy in nine languages. This tool is to help develop rapport in the interpreted health encounter.
August 8, 2013 · Article, Video
Article describinginterviews with Somali women about skin-lightening practices and the products they use and testing those products for mercury.
July 1, 2013 · PDF
A concise guide from WellShare International about having the conversation of diabetes with Somali patients. Topics include Somali cultural foods and how to adapt them to be healthier, suggested questions to ask patients about their diets, and some cultural and medical information that providers should know.
June 21, 2013 · PDF
The article describes a creative intervention to improve physical activity among Somali immigrants in Seattle, Washington.
January 1, 2010 · PDF
This audio-based education tool can be used to introduce the topic of TB, prior to even beginning to discuss the need for PPD skin testing or at any step in the TB evaluation process (it can be used after a PPD is determined to be positive, after the x-ray has been performed, before INH has been recommended, or during INH TLTBI to reinforce the rationale for taking treatment for LTBI).
September 3, 2009 · Audio, PDF
1 page poster PDF summarizing a WIC group nutrition project for Spanish and Somali families.
August 17, 2009 · PDF
Information about common dietary beliefs and practices of Somali participants in WIC nutrition education.
August 17, 2009 · Article
Summary report of a quality improvement project carried out to determine if there were common patterns found in the history and presentation of non-organic failure to thrive among Somali infants and if underlying cultural factors might be influencing this condition.
August 14, 2009 · Article
Article describing a pattern of overfeeding Somali infants leading to conditions such as refusal to eat, oral aversion, failure to thrive; includes recommendations for clinically effective intervention and prevention.
August 14, 2009 · Article
Somali Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Study: Infant and Young Child Feeding and Health Seeking Practices
The purpose of this study was to enhance an understanding of the contribution of poor child care practices to malnutrition (both acute and chronic) and subsequently provide key recommendations for simple and effective responses.
August 14, 2009 · PDF
A powerpoint slide show about infant overfeeding in immigrant families, with focus on Somali families.
August 14, 2009 · PDF
The challenges facing Somali immigrants and refugees in the Twin Cities are complex and their needs are great. Besides facing enormous cultural and language differences, African immigrants and refugees contend with racism, often have limited literacy skills, and hold jobs where they barely earn minimum wage and have difficulty providing for their families.
August 13, 2009 · Article
Information about cultural practices and health beliefs impact the oral care of Somalis, and practical implications for providers.
August 8, 2009 · Article
A short clinical pearl about the use of henna as skin decoration.
August 7, 2009 · Article
Information to help providers become familiar with the cultural values and historical experiences of women from Somalia and their families, as it pertains to obstetrical outcomes and providing culturally appropriate care.
December 8, 2008 · Article
Information about depression, anxiety and PTSD within the Somali refugee community; common beliefs and traditional treatment for mental illness in Somalia, and advice for healthcare providers working with Somali refugees.
November 1, 2008 · Article
This article discusses the lay and medical terms used for hypertension in Somali language and their influence on patients’ understanding of the disease.
September 1, 2008 · Article
A literature review that provides information on Somali Bantu history and culture.
May 1, 2008 · Article
Information about the cultural and religious norms associated with death and dying among Somalis.
April 1, 2008 · Article
To be practiced in the US, the traditional Somali funeral may require building awareness among local service providers and authorities about Somali customs.
April 1, 2008 · Article
Article about Somali culture, relating to mental health and depression.
March 1, 2006 · Article
Background & Methods In recognition of the role that culture plays in shaping people’s attitudes towards illness and their compliance […]
February 1, 2006
Information about typical Somali foods and fasting traditions, influenced by Sunni Muslim practice.
June 1, 2001 · Article
A brief overview of Somali cultural understandings of hepatitis.
March 1, 1998 · Article
A short clinical pearl about dysuria in Somali females who have had ritual genital surgery.
October 1, 1997 · Article
Look more closely the next time that you examine the throat of a patient born in Africa. Is the uvula […]
September 1, 1996 · Article
Some traditional practices around pregnancy and infant care in Southeast Asian and East African groups in Seattle.
August 1, 1996
A short clinical pearl about patterned circular scars on the skin of Asian and African patients.
August 1, 1996 · Article
Asthma is a well recognized disease in Somalia, both in urban and rural environments. One person said asthma is very common there because Somalia is a hot, dry, dusty country and dust causes asthma.
February 1, 1995 · Article
Please also see our Related Websites page for a selected list of websites related to the populations or topics covered on EthnoMed.
- A Tailored Approach to Trauma Intervention - University of Washington
Thousands of Somali refugees have moved to Seattle in search of opportunity and security. Many, haunted by their past, suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related problems. A new program developed by UW psychology professor Lori Zoellner and Duniya Lang, founder and director of the Somali Reconciliation Institute (SRI), provides a trauma-focused intervention tailored for the Somali community.
- AIDS Clinical Conference Lecture- Stigma and HIV Care in America's African-born Community
A recorded webinar presented by Roxanne Kerani, MD, MPH as part of The AIDS Clinical Conference series at Harborview Medical Center (requires Adobe Connect account to view). Includes information about the African-born population in King County (demography; HIV epidemiology), stigma (background; in the African-born population; and the HIV care continuum), non-stigma barriers to care, and strategies to improve engagement in care.
- CityStream: Somali Yoga - YouTube
The Seattle area's Somali population now numbers 30,000. Many are female refugees who escaped Somalia to seek safety and a more stable life. Many of these women are isolated and alone. They don't speak English, and they lack essential services. Daryel Somali Women's Wellness Project, a program run by UW Medicine, is providing them a chance to make new connections and feel supported. Nicole Sanchez explains.
- Developmental Screening and Referrals - Somali Health Board
This community resource guide for families of children with Autism in Washington State was compiled by the state's Somali Health Board.
- Discrimination and Mental Health Among Somali Refugee Adolescents: The Role of Acculturation and Gender - American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
This study examines the role of social identity (acculturation and gender) in moderating the association between discrimination and Somali adolescent refugees’ mental health.
- Health Care Providers' Handbook on Muslim Patients
An understanding of Islam is essential for all health providers caring for Muslims, to improve care and attendance of patients and to achieve better compliance with medications. This publication, made available by the Islamic Council of Queensland, deals briefly with those aspects of Islam which would affect treatment of social, psychological, welfare and medical problems of Muslims.
- Helping immigrants learn to talk openly about AIDS - Seattle Times
A 2010 Seattle Times article about efforts in the Seattle area to help African immigrants learn to talk openly about HIV/AIDS. The article includes information about a trend toward higher rates of disease in African immigrant women compared to African immigrant males.
- Is it possible to ethically research the mental health needs of the Somali communities in the UK?
This article summarizes ethical issues that arise when researching common mental disorders within the Somali communities in the UK. It addresses the danger of researching these disorders from a Eurocentric perspective which risks overlooking the difference in conceptualization of mental illness between different cultures in the West and Somalia.
- Islam and Family Planning: A Somali Family Planning Case Study
In 2004, Minnesota International Health Volunteers (MIHV), launched an evidence-based Somali Family Planning/Child Spacing Program, an integrated, culturally appropriate program which works with both Somali community members and health providers.
- Mental Health Risks and Resilience among Somali and Bhutanese Refugee Parents
October 2016 Report from the Migration Policy Institute looks at the factors that promote or undermine the mental health of young children with refugee parents.
- Minneapolis Somali Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Project
This University of Minnesota project was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Autism Speaks, to answer questions about the number of Somali and non-Somali children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Minneapolis. Resources available include a Community Report, Somali Translated Milestone Brochure/Booklet and Videos/Podcasts About ASD in the Somali Community.
- Multicultural Health - A Guide for Health Professionals (Australia)
Community Profiles for Health Care Providers is a practical tool that assists health care providers to better understand the health beliefs, pre-migration experiences, communication preferences and other aspects of their clients' culture. The profiles provide information for health care providers on the communication styles, health in Australia, health beliefs and practices, social determinants of health and utilization of health services of 18 multicultural communities. Includes specific resources with focus on the pregnancy, birth and post-natal care practices of 11 communities.
- Out of Africa: Somali Bantu and the Paradigm Shift in Refugee Resettlement
This paper examines the process behind a decision to resettle refugees to the United States as well as some of the challenges such a decision entails.
- Refugees Families from Somalia
A cultural background resource focusing on early childhood, published by BRYCS. This backgrounder provides general cultural information, while recognizing that every family is unique and that cultural practices will vary by household and by generation.
- Skin Lightening Products Found to Contain Mercury
This page includes pictures of specific products and levels of mercury detected, and links to FDA warning on skin-lightening products containing mercury (includes translated materials in Hmong, Somali and Spanish), and fact sheets for the general public and for health care providers.
- Skin-Lightening Practices and Mercury Exposure in the Somali Community
Article in the July 2013 edition of Minnesota Medicine. This article describes an investigation that involved interviewing Somali women about skin-lightening practices and the products they use and then testing those products for mercury. Eleven of the 27 product samples (47%) were found to contain mercury. Some exceeded the current FDA threshold of 1 part per million. This prompted both state and federal health officials to issue warnings about the use of these products. The article presents a table with specific product names and their corresponding mercury levels.
- Somali Bantu Refugees - Cultural Considerations for Social Service Providers
Provides information specific to Somali Bantu children and youth, including medical practices, discipline, courtship, marriage, and guidelines for working with Somali Bantu families.
- Somali Health Board - CMS Video
This is a short video produced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on behalf of the Somali Health Board (SHB), promoting the work done by SHB Perinatal Committee
- Somali Health Board Facebook Page
The Homepage for the Somali Health Board, a public, non-profit 501(c)3 grassroots organization, formed in 2012 by Somali health professionals and volunteers concerned about the health disparities that disproportionately affect new immigrants and refugees within King County, with ambitious goals of eliminating and reducing health disparities.
- Somali Health Board Website
The Somali Health Board (SHB) is a public, non-profit 501(c)3 grassroots organization, formed in 2012 by Somali health professionals and volunteers concerned about the health disparities that disproportionately affect new immigrants and refugees within King County, with ambitious goals of eliminating and reducing health disparities.
- Somali Refugee Health Profile - CDC
The information in this refugee health profile is intended to help resettlement agencies, clinicians, and public health providers understand the health issues of greatest interest or concern pertaining to Somali refugee populations in the United States, as well as their cultural background and circumstances.
- Somali Woman Researches Health Risks of Skin-Lightening Practices
An article by Ibrahim Hirsi published in MinnPost August 21, 2013 about skin lightening products containing dangerous chemicals used by Somali women. This article references a study conducted at the University of Minnesota
- Somali women’s yoga and health program
2011 Seattle Times article about a local Somali women's yoga and health program.
- The Somali Bantu: Their History and Culture
This booklet published by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center is a basic introduction to the people, history, and cultures of the Somali Bantu. It is designed primarily for service providers and others assisting Somali Bantu refugees in their new communities in the United States.
- UNICEF Somalia
UNICEF has been working in Somalia since 1972 when its first office opened in Mogadishu. Together with 200 international and national NGOs and community-based organizations, UNICEF delivers services in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection, and responds to emergencies and supports peace-building and development.
- Women in Tukwila find their own place to keep fit
When Aisha Dahir saw an opportunity to get Somali women in the Tukwila community physically fit, she seized on it, enlisting the help of the Tukwila Community Center and the Global to Local Health Initiative group. Tukwila Reporter article, March 2013.