Year End Newsletter 2012

2012 has been another busy year which also saw the graduation of our first 21 midwives who obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Midwifery.

As always, training of health workers remains our priority because without competent health workers, patients cannot be looked after as they should.

For this reason, we have launched the Edna Adan University where 200 students have registered with us to study Public Health, Nursing, Midwifery, and Laboratory Technology. This has been made possible with the donations you have made to us through the Friends of the Edna Adan Hospital USA so that we may cover part of the costs of the teachers and related needs.

I am proud to say that the Edna Adan University is the first and only University in Somaliland to be headed by a woman, Prof. Roda Ali Ahmed.

With support from the Fistula Hospital, and in partnership with the Norwegian Organization NNM, with support of Anesthesia Experts from Kijabe Hospital in Kenya, and in collaboration with Amoud University, we are also starting next month the first training for Anesthesia Technicians in Hargeisa as our country is in great need of anesthetists who are well trained and who can administer anesthesia safely.

With our own doctors and with support from visiting surgeons from the USA, Australia and UK, we have delivered 1057 babies this year, up to the end of October, including 166 C.sections; and over 700 major and minor operations.

We have continued to be the major referral hospital for obstetrical problems and our very own two women doctors are among the surgeons who safely perform C. Sections at our hospital. My greatest wish is to find the resources and a placement for our two female doctors to get their specialisation training, one in general surgery and the other in obstetrics.

Our needs have grown as the cost of living has worsened. Food and other running cost have grown and so have the cost of medicines and medical equipment. For this reason, the shortfalls of the hospital have grown to a level that we had never seen before as we continue to attract the poorest members of our community.

I think the face of little Asma before and after her operations tells a better story than I could in a thousand years.

Most pressing is our need for professionals to help support our new and young University in the areas of Public Health, Nursing/Midwifery and English as a foreign language.

During 2012, I was greatly Honored and humbled to have been awarded the Global Citizen Award in Central Park, New York in September, and to have been added to the Hall of Fame of Women in Emergencies in Orlando, Florida in October.

Our hospital received a lot of attention this year with the premier of the documentary, Half the Sky, on PBS television. We were featured at the top of Part II in a segment with Nicolas Kristof and film star Diane Lane which focused on our efforts opposing the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The entire program is available to Netflix subscribers in the USA and Canada. The DVD can be purchased at It will be shown in countries around the world in 2013.

Finally, I am looking forward to welcoming to the hospital Christopher Stanfield who is currently engaged in a heroic feat to try and raise funds for our hospital. Christopher is walking to the hospital all the way from Cairo, Egypt! He had to give up his American traveling companion and his camel upon entering Sudan and is currently walking through Ethiopia. Follow progress of his adventure on Facebook and on his Travel Blog. I plan to walk with him the final kilometre.


  1. what happened to Asma…the pictures were not clear and you didn’t say….was her chin attached to her neck? And what is the skin condition? Fixable?

  2. Stephane Gompertz

    I wanted to ask the same question as Renee. But she is one among many others. Edna, I am proud to be one of your friends.

  3. In response to questions, Edna says: “Asma’s clothes caught fire when she was seven years old. She was dressed in a District hospital and luckily survived.
    “She is now 11 or 12 years old ( nobody knows their birth dates here ). She still has several more operations planned for her in February. Of course, she is from a poor family and the release of her chin and skin grafts we did here were all free of charge for her and covered by Humanity Direct.”

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