[ View the story "Somaliland’s maternal health pioneer" on Storify] Somaliland’s maternal health pioneer Edna Adan Ismail discusses what drives her to live a life dedicated to caring for the sick.
The Stream· Mon, Jan 20 2014 08:26:33
From Somalia's First Lady to a nation's hero, Edna Adan,
many worldwide. Named one of New African Magazines,
100 Most Influential Africans of 2013
, Adan gave up everything to serve her people and dedicate her life to improving Somaliland's healthcare system.
@AJStream @EdnaAdan I want to tell Edna we are so proud of her.She inspires many women around the globe.halimahillow
@AJStream @EdnaAdan has been an inspiration and a real pacesetter for somaliland and the of whole africa Palm Greatness
Adan is the founder and director of the
Edna Adan University Hospital
in the capital city of Somaliland, Hargeisa. Built on a garbage dump, the hospital has
more than 14,000 babies since opening its doors in 2002. Below is a picture of Adan and the first baby born at the hospital:
Today, Adan's hospital
men and women from all parts of Somaliland to become healthcare professionals. Her
is to train and dispatch 1,000 midwives throughout the country. In the TED Talk below, Adan explains the importance of a midwife in Somaliland and the mission of her hospital:
Edna Adan Ismail: A midwife's storytedblogvideo
Adan is a
of many firsts. She is believed to be the first Somali woman to study in Britain, the first Somali woman to drive and the first certified nurse-midwife in the country. She also
the First Lady of Somalia when her former husband was Prime Minister in the mid-1960s. She has
many dignitaries, including former US President Lyndon B. Johnson:
When a military dictatorship took control of the country in 1969
to leave. She began working with the World Health Organisation (WHO),
nurses and midwives throughout Africa. In 1997, she
to Hargeisa, holding onto her dream of building her own hospital. She cashed in her entire life savings and broke ground, opening the hospital's doors in 2002.
Adan was featured in the book and documentary, "
Half the Sky
", by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. In this segment from the documentary, Adan explains how her hospital works to treat women who suffered from fistulas, a major health condition
women throughout the region.
Half the Sky Movement - Fistulas & the Edna Adan Hospitalhalfskymovement
The Stream community thought Somaliland and other parts of the Horn of Africa faced these additional health challenges:
@AJStream #diabetes due to high sugar consumption.Young_Bachelor
@AJStream #Somaliland. stress, lack of good medical care and hard biting poverty.Mr chiwizi
@AJStream Maternal & child health, particularly access to basic health services among rural pop. poor health system regulations, HR shortageSharif M. Haji
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream depends on the setting but the three major problems include distance,cost, and quality of health care devicesSharif M. Haji
The community also had these questions for Adan:
@AJStream @EdnaAdan. What inspired and motivated her to do soo...?Zαуηαв Mαqαяρну...
What advice would you give to other who would like to follow in your footsteps to do much needed vital work in their communities?Zahra Qaali
@AJStream @EdnaAdan What actions are being taken to stop female genital mutilation in #Somalia? @AHAFoundationShuja Rabbani
@AJStream @EdnaAdan How do you go about getting trust & acceptance to nurse pregnant women from illiterate or perhaps extremist backgrounds?Mustapha Saeed
@AJStream @EdnaAdan how did she go about it...if she can only enlight us small about the strenght that pushed herMayvis brownlyn
@AJStream @EdnaAdan how difficult was it creating #Somaliland health system from scratch? What were the challenges?A Saeed
@AJStream @EdnaAdan what was the struggles that have came your way as the first somalian female who has helped and inspired so many.Maya Razak Omer
@EdnaAdan, you are an inspiration. Q. What are your goals for the future? How can non-medics outside of Somaliland contribute? @AJStreamSarah Winfield