Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Here is a photo of Bill Clinton meeting Edna Adan at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

Bill Clinton with Edna Adan

Bill Clinton with Edna Adan

Bill Clinton letter to Edna Adan

Bill Clinton letter to Edna Adan

Hospital News at Year’s End

Hospital News at Year’s End

Edna Hospital was 7 years old in March 2009.

During that period, we received patients from all corners of the Horn of Africa as well as providing care to UN and international staff and their families in Somaliland, and to screen or treat refugees brought to us for treatment by the United Nations.

Among the new initiatives that we have taken and which we find most heart-warming, is with the School for Children with Special Needs where we have helped to set up a dispensary for them, screened every one of the 83 children in that school, and where we send one of our nurses two days a week to check the children and treat them as needed. This is the first time that such a service has ever been set up in Somaliland and we are happy that we could do it.

This year has seen an increase in the numbers of women we treated from neighboring Somalia who have fled the fighting there.

In April, we had the support of Dr. Thomas Raassen who is among the world’s top surgeons when it comes to the repair of obstetrical fistulae and had him repair 21 women in our hospital. Our usual Smile Train Team also came to repair the Cleft Lips and Palates of 34 children.

Regarding our training, the department has been busier than ever as our current student population is:

  • 46 student nurses graduating in mid-December 2009
  • 26 student Laboratory Technicians graduating in 5 months
  • 74 new Assistant Pharmacists started two weeks ago the very first such training in Somaliland and will be with us for one more year

In May, we graduated our first group of Community Midwives whom we sent out to work in the far and isolated regions of Somaliland.

We have also had a much larger number of foreign volunteers from Europe and North America who helped us with the training and supervision of our staff and students.

The year also continued to bring its worries and frustrations when it comes to the worsening of the water supply of the hospital which continues to be a problem without solution since we would need a borehole for the hospital and this has not been possible.

Much of the above could not have been possible without the generous support of all the benefactors who have supported through their generosity and encouragement.

On behalf of the staff, patients and students at our hospital, we wish to say ‘Thank You’ to the Friends of the Edna Hospital in the USA, to our friend Nick Kristof of the New York Times, and to all of you out there who have helped us help our people.

With much appreciation and blessings, Edna

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Goldi Hawn

Goldi Hawn

Mayor Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg

Demi Moore

Demi Moore

Watch Video of Edna Adan at CGI

Watch Video of Edna Adan at CGI

The Clinton Global Initiative web site has made available video of the entire panel discussion PLENARY SESSION: INVESTING IN GIRLS AND WOMEN. Just click on the link and then click on WATCH NOW link near the photo of Edna Adan.

Click for Video of Edna Adan at CGI

Video of Edna Adan at CGI

At a time when the world finds itself on an unsustainable course, facing an increasing number of complex challenges for which traditional approaches are no longer sufficient, innovation stands as a key to addressing many of the issues confronting us today. During this session, experts in the field will discuss the importance of innovation as a vehicle for building a sustainable future. Where does innovation begin? What should be the role of government in promoting and facilitating innovation? Which countries are leading the charge, and how do you best position yourself and your organization to take advantage? This panel will provide a broad introduction to innovation, various approaches to cultivate it, and implications for those who pursue it and those who don’t.

You are able to skip ahead – Edna is introduced at about the 37-minute mark:

Edna gives a real nice little speech about determination in difficult circumstances at about the 1:02 mark.
At 1:16 she begins discussing the causes of high rates of maternal mortality, leading into an assertion that the most important thing anybody can do to show support for women is to support greater educational opportunities.
At 1:24 Edna speaks about how Somaliland’s success is representative of what a people can do with limited resources if they have sufficient resolve to improve their circumstances.

Empowering Women in the Developing World

The Clinton Global Initiative, meeting in New York City, has issued the following press release:

Corporations, NGOs, and Foundations Announce 13 New Commitments to Empower Girls and Women at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative

Edna Adan is at the right

Edna Adan is seen here at the right

New York, NY – Millions of girls and women will have access to improved health care, better education, and increased economic opportunity because of commitments made today at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which brings together leaders from across sectors of society to identify solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property,” President Bill Clinton said. “Whether the issue is improving education in the developing world, or fighting global climate change, or addressing nearly any other challenge we face, empowering women is a critical part of the equation.”

Reports show that when women and girls are empowered, entire regions see measurable results. This is especially true for economic empowerment – for example, a woman is likely to reinvest about 90 percent of her earnings into her family’s well-being, compared with 35 percent for a man. Increases in access to education among girls accounted for a decline of 43 percent in the malnutrition rates between 1970 and 1995. Investing in women’s health, especially reproductive health, not only saves the lives of half a million mothers, but also unleashes an estimated $15 billion in productivity each year….

This year, the CGI Annual Meeting will feature a variety of special programming related to girls and women. Today, the plenary session “Investing in Girls and Women,” moderated by Diane Sawyer, featured Edna Adan, director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital; Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group; Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International; Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues at the U.S. Department of State; and Robert B. Zoellick, President of The World Bank Group.

Read the entire press release here.
Edna Adan said women are dying in childbirth because nobody cares... People think she's dying because she was meant to die.

Edna Adan said women are dying in childbirth because nobody cares... People think she's dying because she was meant to die.

Click here for high praise from Feministing

Edna Adan, Director and Founder, Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital, was also an amazing speaker. She focused on the importance of skilled birth attendants in [Somaliland]. “Reproductive health is affected by nutrition, is affected by age at which she is married, so many other factors.” She said women are dying in childbirth, “because nobody cares… [People think] she’s dying because she was meant to die. She was not meant to die. She could be safe.” “The decision of whether she has treatment must be left to the woman. often its a husband or a brother or a father who decides whether she will be taken to the hospital or not.” There is a view that the husband owns the unborn child and therefore the decision is his, which must be countered through education.

Adan said these issues are not just women’s issues and that we need to engage men: “It is demanding men stand up and recognize women belong on this earth.”

Bill Clinton said, "Women perform 66 percent of the world's work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.

Bill Clinton said Women perform 66 percent of the world's work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.

The Daily Beast has this article

Global Power Gals

“Edna Adan, founder of a hospital in her native [Somaliland] bearing her name now (and the first woman to drive there!), said the single most important gift was “the gift of knowledge,” to wipe out the illiteracy that has kept women down for so long. Her own rise in a country that has not long appreciated women’s value was the result, she said, of “determinedness and hard-headedness.”
“These women are dying silent deaths,” said Edna Adan, the midwife, who said she was shocked when, after 50 years of work, she treated a woman in [Somaliland] bearing her 21st child. The audience gasped.

Edna said women need the gift of knowledge

Edna said women need the gift of knowledge

Reuters reports, “Edna Adan Ismail, a women’s rights activist from [Somaliland] who founded a maternity hospital there, said her most pressing near-term needs include water for hand-washing, mid-wife training and medical equipment.

“There are so many things, but if we prioritize them, I would say education, education and yet more education,” Ismail said.

Edna in NYC for CGI

Edna Adan is visiting New York this week, where she will participate in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative.

What: Plenary Session: Investing in Girls and Women
Date: Sept. 23, 2009
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Every problem in the world is exacerbated by gender inequality. Even though women make up 50 percent of the world’s population, girls and women continuously lack the same access as men to education, health care, jobs, and the political arena. Yet each year of schooling increases a woman’s income by 10 to 20 percent, and closing the gender gap adds 0.5 percent to a country’s per capita GNP. Smart businesses appreciate that increased support for girls and women is integral to fostering successful markets for the future. Innovative programs are already producing remarkable results, and far-seeing countries and organizations are finding that reaching out to girls and women deepens confidence, creates opportunity, and raises profits. This panel will examine a few notable success stories.

Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Zainab Salbi, Founder and CEO, Women for Women International
Diane Sawyer, Co-Anchor, Good Morning America; Co-Anchor, Primetime
Rex W. Tillerson, Chief Executive Officer, ExxonMobil Corporation
Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Women’s Issues, Office of the Secretary, U.S. State Department
Robert Zoellick, President, The World Bank Group

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