On March 21st, at the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) World Congress 2017 at Capetown, South Africa, Edna Adan meets with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta of Kenya
Republic of Somaliland Requests Exemption from U.S. Executive Order Intended to Prevent the Entry of Foreign Terrorists
For Immediate Release
REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND REQUESTS EXEMPTION FROM U.S. EXECUTIVE ORDER
INTENDED TO PREVENT THE ENTRY OF FOREIGN TERRORISTS
Hargeisa, Somaliland – The Republic of Somaliland today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to request an exemption for Somaliland residents from the January 27 U.S. Executive Order restricting entry into the United States by individuals from Somalia and six other nations.
In the letter, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Dr. Sa´ad Ali Shire urged the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to take this action in light of the fact that Somaliland is an independent, democratic and stable nation that– unlike the nations affected by the Order – does not suffer from what the Order describes as “deteriorating conditions… [that] due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.”
The letter also explains as the collapse of Somalia’s governing institutions and civil society dominated global attention and vast resources from the United States and other nations, Somaliland focused on building strong state institutions, maintaining peace within its borders and creating a sustainable economy. Having met the requirements for sovereign recognition, Somaliland functions as an independent government and nation, as well as a model for others. Unlike the nations subject to the suspension imposed by the recent Executive Order, Somaliland has full control over its territory and has not experienced the emergence of terrorist organizations. In fact, no acts of terrorism have occurred in Somaliland since October 2008. In contrast, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has collected data indicating that Somalia has endured no fewer than one hundred terrorist attacks each year over the same period, and a significant increase in these numbers in recent years.
The letter notes that despite Somaliland’s accomplishments, “As a result of the January 27 Executive Order, Somaliland residents may not travel to the United States to visit family, pursue educational advancement or strengthen commercial ties between our two nations.” The letter also states that, “The mutual benefits realized through these contacts are immeasurable, and contribute both to our nation’s continued vitality and its ability to serve as a reliable partner to the United States in a challenging region.”
The Foreign Minister’s letter appeals for the U.S. Government’s favorable consideration of this exemption, which would “not only relieve Somalilanders of the unintended and undue burdens caused by the Executive Order, but also acknowledge – for Somaliland and others in the region and the world – that strong and responsible governance provides a foundation upon which America’s partners can secure progress for their citizens and contribute to shared international objectives.”
The Republic of Somaliland is a sovereign state in the Horn of Africa sharing its borders with the Republic of Djibouti, Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Federal Republic of Somalia. The former British Somaliland Protectorate achieved full independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and subsequently united with Somalia, thereby creating the Somali Republic. The Republic of Somaliland reclaimed its independence in 1991.
HARGEISA, Somaliland – It was early in the day and Dr.Shukri Mohamed Dahir of the Edna Adan University Hospital (EAUH) had already successfully completed four hydrocephalus surgeries — shunt procedures – on infants, all under the age of 12 months.
Each shunt surgery took approximately an hour, and Dr.Dahir had purposefully planned all four to take place on the same day.
“I schedule the surgeries so that all infants and their mothers get post-op care in the same room, away from other hospital patients. This significantly reduces the risk of infection that is high among post-op hydrocephalus patients, “Dr.Dahir said.
Before seeking professional medical help, parents often pay traditional healers to burn the babies’ swollen heads with hot sticks in the belief that they will shrink to normal size. The procedure does not work, but because in a small percentage of infants hydrocephalus stops on its own (arrested hydrocephalus), families continue to seek out traditional healers in the belief that this will ‘cure’ their babies.
“Most untreated infants become mentally and physically impaired as the condition worsens, causing blindness, deafness full paralyses and premature deaths,” Dr.Dahir explained.
The tiny patients had to travel long distances to receive medical treatment; three came from neighboring Somalia, and one from a remote region of Somaliland.
For eleven months-old Cabas Dahir Xasan it took a grueling two days and nights by car, to get to the EAUH hospital from the town of Cadaado (Adado) in central Somalia.
Cabas’s family tried the traditional method first — scabs from the burns and healed fresh skin where the scabs had fallen off, still visible on his head.
“We tried four times with four different healers. It did not work. A doctor in Mogadishu recommended Edna’s hospital, so we came here,” Cabas’s mother, Fadumo Muxumed Cilmi, 25, said.
But most parents, as Dr.Dahir explained, find out about Edna’s hospital by word of mouth, like Layla Macalin Mohamed, 27, mother of seven months old Asma Abdilaahi Ali, who flew to Hargeisa from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
“I met a man at a bus stop who told me about Edna’s hospital when he saw my baby,” said Ms. Mohamed.
“In the last five years the number of parents seeking medical attention for this condition has increased from 125 to about 400 a year at our hospital because of our reputation and patients spreading the word,” Dr.Dahir confirmed.
In Mogadishu, if at all possible, the procedure costs some $2000 per patient, not including medications, post-op in-patient care and accommodation, while the same surgery can cost as much as $15,000 in places like India or Malaysia – not including travel expenses and only affordable for a tiny fraction of the region’s population.
In contrast, EAUH offers this surgery free of charge.
“Even if they wanted to pay, it would be maybe with a $20 bill. They could not afford more, so why kill a tree and make paper out of it,” said Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, founder and head of the EAUH.
Ms.Adan’s fingers fly over a calculator. “To give you an idea, the 400 surgeries done at EAUH for free would have cost an equivalent of $6 million abroad.”
In all four cases the families, too poor to afford the shunt surgery, raised fund to tralve to Hargaisa from family and friends.
Hydrocephalus is widespread in the region mostly due to infections in utero, or contracted during and post-delivery, as well as by poor to non-existent antenatal care and insufficient quantities of folic acid in the diet of the pregnant mother. Often, babies born with hydrocephalus also have spina bifida, a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. In such a case, EAUH performs additional surgery to address it.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain, causing increased pressure inside the skull. It is typically treated by the surgical placement of a shunt system.
Edna Adan University is hosting a three-day Brain Awareness Advocacy Conference in collaboration with International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
28-30 January, 2017
A healthy Brain for a healthy nation and its development in Somaliland
- The abstract should address the conference theme and is
expected to be presented by one of the authors.
- The abstract must be submitted by email in Word document format (.doc, .docx).
- Submission deadline is 20 December, 2016.
Abstract Format and Submission Guidelines:
Abstracts will be selected by panel of experts.
Notification of selection status will be concluded by 1 January, 2017.
Contents of the Abstract
Title, author name(s), institution name(s), presenter name (if different), address of presenter, telephone number, email address, abstract contents, background, objective, method, result, conclusion, and recommendation. Maximum 500 words.
Brain injury & hypoxia
Substance abuse in Somaliland & beyond
Any mental disorders
Mental health services in Somaliland
We couldn’t be more proud of the 264 students who recently graduated from the Edna Adan University as fully fledged health professionals. Please join us in congratulating the 82 midwives, 48 nurses, 13 anaesthesiologists, 63 pharmacologists, 17 lab technicians, and 41 public health workers who are the future of healthcare in Somaliland. We salute you all!