Sanaag Specialty Hospital

For over four years, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, Co-Impact Sourcing, local community members, the Somaliland Ministry of Health, and development agencies worked to open the Sanaag Specialty Hospital, a nonprofit regional hospital in the city of Erigavo—the capital of Sanaag.

The first phase of the hospital, a 45-bed facility, opened in May 2021. The facility includes accident and emergency, outpatient, diagnostics, maternity, and pediatric departments. As access to professional healthcare wasn’t previously available in the area, many locals had to travel great distances or forgo medical aid entirely.

The Sanaag Specialty Hospital is the first functioning healthcare provider of its kind, offering lifesaving services to hundreds of thousands of people living and working in the heart of Somaliland’s frankincense resin harvesting area.

David Stirling and Dr. Russell J. Osguthorpe prepared a special thank-you message for everyone who contributed to the Sanaag Donation Drive in December 2021.

Sanaag at a Glance

  • doTERRA sources Frankincense and Myrrh resins from Somaliland, with harvesting primarily concentrated in the Sanaag Region

  • The Sanaag Region has an estimated population of just over 600,000

  • Sanaag remains among the least developed areas in the world

  • Somaliland has the highest lifetime risk of maternal deaths in the world

I have the utmost confidence in our team to deliver high quality care in the region and look forward to seeing the impact the Sanaag Specialty Hospital will have on reducing infant and maternal mortality.

Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of medical and scientific initiatives
Dr. Osguthorpe assesses a child while training a local doctor.

Dr. Osguthorpe assesses a child while training a local doctor.

A local doctor conducts a visit with a community member.

A local doctor conducts a visit with a community member.

Sanaag Specialty Hospital Facts


  • Accident and emergency care
  • Maternity and neonatal care
  • Operating theater
  • Pediatric care
  • Diagnostic services
  • In-patient and out-patient care
  • Community outreach


  • Over 100 staff members directly supported by Sanaag Specialty Hosptial
  • 95% are from local communities within the Sanaag region
  • Over 60% are female

And this is just the beginning. Thank you for the part you play in changing the world.

Edna Adan Ismail talks with David Stirling and Dr. Osguthorpe about Sanaag Speciality Hospital at the 2021 Evolve Connection.