"Approximately 800 women die each day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. One out of every ten Somali children dies before seeing their first birthday."
Statistics like this are far too common in the world when maternal and child mortality could have been alleviated by someone providing skilled care before, during and after childbirth.
Edna Adan founded the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland where they train and educate midwives. The daughter of a well-known Somali medical doctor, Edna was furiously active for years in the fight against female circumcision. She was the first Somali girl to be awarded a scholarship to study in Britain. For seven years, Adna dedicated her life to learning everything she could about midwifery, nursing and hospital management. She returned to Somaliland as the first qualified nurse and midwife in the entire country and soon set out to achieve her dream: to build a hospital. She began formulating a plan in the 1980s, sold all of her possessions and in 2002, the hospital was finally open!
"Edna’s Hospital will increase the survival rate of pregnant Somaliland women by training and equipping 1,000 midwives to provide medical monitoring, treatment and education. Community midwives typically assist with 150-200 births per year, while some may deliver as many as 400 babies a year. With the Edna Adan Hospital’s historical survival rate 75 percent higher than the national average, our immediate mission is to spread this success to all corners of Somaliland."
In recognition of her paramount work in maternal and child health, her name was added to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame along with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Edna's groundbreaking work is nothing short of miraculous. Hundreds of lives are being saved because of her boldness in taking many first steps.
“Don’t ever underestimate the capacity of a human being who is determined to do something.” –Edna Adan Ismail
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