Civil war destroyed the infrastructure of the Somali state, including health services. Rebuilding of the health sector is challenged by a shortage of professional staff, financial resources, and effective governance. Moreover, an overall privatization of the service sector, decentralization and deregulation following the war have greatly changed the health care scene.

At the same time as international donors focus on developing biomedically oriented (public) health services, the other side of the health sector, folk healers and their services, often remain unnoticed. However, folk healers are relied on in various problems and illnesses, and many prefer them to medical practitioners.