Religious Beliefs and Traditions in Somalian Culture

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Religious Beliefs And Traditions In Somalian Culture

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I was assigned Somalia. In this research paper I will provide an appropriate greeting in Somali, along with how to say “pain” in Somali. I will provide cultural health beliefs, hygiene, and food practices along with cultural rituals. I will explain three different issues that should be addressed while including ways to integrate cultural sensitive nursing care. The nurse will should take the patients culture into consideration while completing the nursing care plan.

Somalia Culture Essay

The universal language in Somalia is Somali. The vast majority of the population are Sunni Moslems and practice Islam. Islam is their way of life. The common way to great someone is to say “hello” which is “Soo dhowow” in Somali. Also, it is common to shake their hand. Men and woman do not touch each other. Men shake each other’s hand and women shake each other’s hands. The right hand is considered the clean and polite hand. The right hand is used for daily tasks such as eating, writing, and greeting people. If a child starts to show left-handed preference, the parents will vigorously try to train him or her to use the right hand. Left-handedness is very unfamiliar. (Lewis,n.d) The nurse will need to assess the client’s pain regularly. “Xanuun” is how the nurse would say or understand the word pain in Somali.(Katsev,2018)

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Health Beliefs and Hygiene

In Somalia there is not many health beliefs because Somalia does not have a good health system. Somalia’s health care system has declined. There are only few doctors and hospitals and many unqualified persons practice a form of medicine at private facilities. The absence of regulation carries over to prescription drugs, which are often improperly dispensed by pharmacies. (Somalia, 2015) Although Somalia does not have many health beliefs, there is strong beliefs on child birth. Newborn car includes warm water baths, sesame oil massages, and passive stretching of the baby’s limbs. An herb called malmal is applied to the umbilicus for the first seven days of life. When a child is born, the new mother and baby stay indoors at home for 40 days, a time period known as afatanbah. (Lewis, n.d.)

Food Practices and Cultural Rituals1

Food choices are influenced by geography as well as culture and religion. For example, fish is commonly eaten by people who live in coastal regions, while people from inland areas consume more meat such as camel and goat. Fish and chicken may be seen as inferior food by these groups. Their religious dietary practices include only halal meats and not consuming pork, pork products, gelatin or alcohol. (Irimia, 2016) It is believed that one’s life is predetermined by Allah before birth, and services for preventative health may not be sought. Fasting is common practice during the holy month of Ramadan and lasts for approximately 30 days (the dates of which follow the lunar calendar and change every year). During Radadan, no food or drinks can be consumed between dawn and sunset, including any oral tablets, other medications or water. A person is not required to fast if they are elderly, pre-pubescent, ill, and pregnant or breastfeeding. Missed days of fasting are to be made up at another time. (Exploring Islamic Traditions, n.d.)

Nursing care plan (Notifying patient / family).

When informing the patient of a poor prognosis, providers should know that in Somalia there are no confidentiality laws and the family is informed instead of the patient. The family of a Somali patient may feel distrustful of clinicians if they are not informed of their family member’s prognosis. Somalis feel it is important to tell the immediate family first if there is a poor prognosis so they can be prepared in order to work together and comfort the patient. They may also seek to protect the patient, so as not to scare them with a poor prognosis and cause them to lose hope and die, as a result. Religious leaders are contacted when a serious illness is diagnosed. (Lewis, n.d.) When bad news is delivered, it is important to deliver it in as compassionate a way as possible.

Nursing care plan (Circumcision).

Circumcision is universally practiced for both males and females. It is viewed as a rite of passage, allowing a person to become a fully accepted adult member of the community. It is commonly viewed as necessary for marriage, as uncircumcised people are seen unclean. Male circumcision is performed at various times between birth and five years of age. It is accompanied by a celebration involving prayers and the ritual slaying of a goat. It is preformed either by a traditional doctor or by a nurse or doctor in hospital.(Lewis, n.d.)

There is different procedures for female circumcision in which various amounts of genital tissue are removed. This ranges from the removal of the clitoral hood, leaving the rest of the genitalia intact (known as “sunna” circumcision), to removal of the clitoris and anterior labia minora, leaving a posterior opening for passage of urine and menstrual flow. This procedure is known as infibulation, and is the most common form of female circumcision in Somalia. In Somalia, the procedure is usually performed by female family members but is also available in some hospitals. It is usually performed between birth and 5 years of age. (Lewis, n.d.) As a nurse legal actions may be different depending on the state/country. The nurse should take into consideration that the client may ask for such certain request.

Nursing care plan (End of life care).

For Somalis, life is considered sacred and belongs to God (Allah). It is believed that all creatures die at a time determined by god and that no one knows when it is his of her time to die except Allah. For this reason, when a patient is determined to be terminally ill, it is best not to offer a timeframe for when death might likely occur. (Lewis, n.d.) Instead, the nurse should say, “according to us, we have done all that we can.” This will demonstrate respect for religious beliefs. There is much discussion about the acceptability of life support in Somali culture and religion. While Somalis appreciate every effort to preserve life, there is controversy regarding at what point life support may interfere with Gods will and extend life artificially, Yet, some Somalis don’t feel they can make the decision to remove life support because that would be interfering with God’s will. As a result, Somalis may have complicated spiritual issues surrounding life support. (Somalia, 2015)

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