The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and US CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Somalia is a developing nation classified as low income. Located in eastern Africa along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean (south of Ethiopia and east of Kenya), the climate is classified as dry (semi arid) inland and dry (arid) along the coast.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
An official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary. Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 9 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. This also applies to airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) longer than 12 hours in risk countries.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, typhoid fever, or a one time polio booster if you haven't previously received one for travel. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2018) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the entire country. Risk is relatively low and seasonal in the north; it is higher in the central and southern parts of the country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 90%, P. vivax 5%–10%, P. malariae and P. ovale rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the US Department of State (DOS), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to violent crime, kidnapping, and other ongoing security concerns, US (DOS), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding all travel to this country. UK (FCO) concurs, except advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to the cities of Hargeysa and Berbera (Woqooyi Galbeed Region).
High risk of attack by domestic and transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Mogadishu and the Aden Adde International Airport. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country, including Somaliland and Puntland regions. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, carjacking, and murder) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur throughout the country.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country, especially in Mogadishu, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
A dangerous security environment exists, ethnic tensions are present, and armed conflict may occur throughout the country. Piracy (involving commercial and private leisure vessels) occurs in coastal and international waters.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road traffic death rate is more than 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel.
Speed laws are poorly enforced.
There are no seatbelt laws.
Drunk driving laws are poorly enforced.
There are no restrictions on mobile phone usage while driving.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
The monsoon season is from May through October in southwestern areas and December through February in northeastern areas. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Extreme heat (which can lead to heat-related illness) occurs from April through September.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Somalia
- United States: so.usmission.gov
- Canada: Canada does not have an embassy or consulate in Somalia.
- United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-mogadishu
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Somalia.
Somalia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.somaliembassydc.net
- In Canada: Somalia does not have an embassy or consulate in Canada.
- In the U.K.: Somalia does not have an embassy or consulate in the U.K.
- In Australia: www.somaliconsulate.com.au
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.