Edna Adan & Diane Lane Together Again

Inaugural National Nurses Speaker Series, 5K and Half Marathon Launched by Local Nurses

The National Nurses Half Marathon, 5K and Health Institute Speakers Series is a milestone event in support of the best health, fitness and nutrition for our nurses, our community and our nation. This noble health initiative is being launched by nurses in Nevada and will be held October 11-13 at Red Rock Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon. This event is by nurses for everyone and is designed as an inspirational challenge to motivate others into action toward health and fitness.

Meet event director, Helene Neville, a 53-year-old four-time cancer survivor, nurse, motivational speaker and author. In 1998, after three brain surgeries she was told to get her affairs in order, Instead she went running and has been running ever since. She has dedicated her life to inspiring and motivating nurses across the country. In 2010, she ran from California to Florida; and in 2013 from Vancouver to Tijuana stopping at hospitals along the way to inspire nurses. From these lessons of triumphant spirit, she has organized the 2013 National Nurses Health Institute Speakers Series, the National Nurses Half Marathon and 5K.

Edna Adan and Diane Lane, together again

Edna Adan and Diane Lane, together again

The weekend kicks off with film actress Diane Lane introducing Edna Adan, a world-renown humanitarian, and founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital in Hargesia, Somaliland. She is the Former World Health Organization Nursing Advisor, Former First Lady of Somalia and Former Foreign Minister of Somaliland. She has changed the face of healthcare in Africa. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor. Diane Lane is an accomplished American Film Actress. In 2012, Diane Lane and Edna Adan were paired as part of Nick Kristof’s Half the Sky initiative. They speak on Friday, October 11, 2103 at 8:00AM.

Additionally, a specially selected group of speakers, exhibitors and vendors will discuss topics such as weight loss, nutrition, exercise, Pilates, Zumba, surviving cancer, motivation, holistic nursing and more.

The National Nurses Health Institute Speakers Series is free and runs 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12, with the 5K and half marathon taking place Sunday, Oct. 13 at Red Rock Canyon. www.nationalnurseshalfmarathon.com

Our 2013 beneficiary is The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to support the Edna Adan University Hospital by providing scholarships for the nursing/midwifery program, sponsoring patients, and purchasing equipment and supplies in particular an ambulance. You can learn more at www.ednafoundation.org

The generous support of sponsors is central to the success of the National Nurses Half Marathon, the 5K and the National Nurses Health Institute Speakers Series. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for our 2013 event, please contact director@nationalnurseshalfmarathon.com or phone 1-480-299-5748.

Conference Speakers

Edna Adan, APN, CNM, CPNP, is world-renowned nurse-midwife and founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Adan, former World Health Organization Regional Nursing Advisor is an internationally acclaimed nurse who has changed the face of healthcare in Africa as the former First Lady of Somalia and former Foreign Minister of Somaliland. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor. In 2012 Edna Adan was featured in the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Dr. Elaine Doll-Dunn, PhD completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at the age of 65. She expertly researched the self-efficacy of women who begin marathoning after the age of 40. At the age of 67, she founded the Leading Ladies Marathon. At age 74, Elaine flew to Scotland and climbed some of highest mountains on the Isle of Skye. For her 75th birthday, she ran the Wine Country Marathon in Medoc, France. She has run 123 marathons and authored four books. She has taught for 35 years; every age group, every subject, from elementary to university. She has three advanced degrees.

Charles Maka is Human Performance Coach and runs the EVO UltraFit facility in Phoenix Arizona. Unquestionably one of the best coaches in the United States, those participating in the EVO System are clients of ages 4-97 with goals ranging from wanting to move again to setting new world records. Clients range from cancer patients, elite athletes gearing up for the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup or running across the country.

Dr. Bill Andrew, PhD, from Reno, Nevada is the President and CEO of Sierra Sciences. As a scientist, athlete and executive, he continually pushes the envelope and challenges convention. He has been featured in Popular Science, The Today Show and numerous documentaries on the topic of life extension. He has focused the last 20 years on finding ways to extend the human lifespan and healthspan through telomere maintenance. As one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase, Dr. Andrews was awarded 2nd place as “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997.

Helene Neville is Founder of the National Nurses Half Marathon, 5K and National Nurses Health Institute Speakers Series. Helene has been a nurse and fitness coach for more than thirty years. She began running seriously after a battle with cancer in the 1990s. In 2001, she founded the Des Moines Marathon. She authored two books: Nurses In Shape: The Right Dose! and One On The Run, 93 Days Across America. In 2010, Helene ran 2,520 miles in 93 days from California to Florida and in 2013 she ran from Vancouver, British Columbia and finished 45 days and 1,500 miles later in Tijuana, Mexico. She carried with her the ashes of her recently departed brother Anthony who passed away suddenly in February 2013.

Stacey Escalante is the founder and CEO of Escalante Media Management LLC. Escalante’s former and current client list includes MGM Resorts International, Safe Nest, Jump for Joy Foundation, Desert Perinatal Associates, Troy Watson M.D. (Desert Orthopedic Center), Real Results Fitness, Downtown Runners, and Face book for Parents author, Linda Fogg Phillips. She spent 18 years in broadcast journalism. She spent 10 years as a reporter at KVBC-TV. As a Stage 3 melanoma survivor, Stacey is on a mission to save lives by educating others about skin cancer.

Molly Sheridan is CEO/Founder of Desert Sky Adventures. Molly has run over 40 ultra marathons including Marathon Des Sables (MDS), Rio Del Lago 100-mile Endurance Race and Badwater Ultra Marathon. In 2010, Molly completed 100 miles nonstop in the Himalayas. In 2011, she completed 138 miles nonstop covering both Khardung La and Tang Lang La. On June 23, 2013 Molly became the first American woman to attempt and complete running up three different peaks in the Himalayas over 18,000 ft: Khardung La, Tang Lang La, and Wari La.

Conference Info

Scam Alert !

Not again. But, yes. Edna’s email has been hacked for the third time. If you received an urgent email from her, please don’t worry.

Edna is perfectly fine at home, at the hospital.

*One recipient of the thief’s email responded by donating $5000 (through the proper channel, not by wiring money to the Philippines). “You can thank the hacker! I got the fake message this AM and it reminded me of my overdue intention to donate. Once I found out it was a scam, I was happy to make this overdue donation 🙂 ”

July 19, 2013. I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Manila, Philippines for a program. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of $2,250 or whatever you can afford to spare me from you. this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any


Yes, Edna’s email was hacked again January 11, 2012. Edna is at home at the hospital. She is not stranded in Spain.

They have, again, deleted her recent correspondence and her entire Contacts list, so if you have any ongoing correspondence with Edna, please send her a copy of those recent emails.

If you have corresponded with Edna about anything ongoing or upcoming then be aware that Edna has lost everybody’s contact information and all of her emails. Please re-send the last email so that she can resume wherever you and she have left off.

New updates will appear at the bottom of this message.

Did you receive an email, purportedly from Edna, where she pleads for help from you because her passport and cash have been stolen while traveling? Don’t worry. Edna is perfectly fine.

Please ignore the email. It is a fraud.


Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Aberdeen, Scotland for a volunteer Medical Program (VMP) and had my bag stolen from me with my passport, credit cards and mobile phones in it. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport, I just have to pay for a ticket and settle Hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can’t have access to funds without my credit card, I’ve made contact with my bank but they need more time to come up with a new one. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I get in. I really need to be on the next available flight.

I can forward you details on how you can get the funds to me.

I await your response…


This is a common tactic used by thieves. There are more examples in these links:

1) alert-no-you-dont-have-a-friend-who-was-mugged-in-london-today
2) Be Wary when friends email for Money
3) Friend in Trouble Scam
4) Friends, Family in trouble overseas
5) Old Friend in Trouble Scam
6) Discussion at Snopes.com

If you go to Reply to the email – don’t actually send anything, just begin to reply – then you may notice that the recipient address spells hospital with a #1 at the end (…hospita1@yahoo.com) – a completely different recipient, not Edna. We sure hope that nobody falls for this trick.

We sent a fake message, “How can I help?” and got back the following email response from the thieves:

Thanks for writing back and also for your concern.I need a quick loan to sort out myself here and get on the next available flight home as soon as possible.I need 2000Pounds [over $3000 USD] that will be refunded as soon as I get home but if you do not have up to that please send what you can.

You can make funds available to me through western union money transfer to the following details below for swift pick up:

Name: Edna Ismail
Address: 126 Gorgie road,Aberdeen, EH126TX, Scotland.

Once sent kindly send me the MTCN,Sender’s name and address so I can present these information for pick up.

I await you response. Thanks

On the advice of an FBI agent who specializes in fraud, we sent out the following message to the entire newsletter mailing list. Note that the thieves used Edna’s personal email account – which has now been erased – and not the newsletter mailing list (to which they have no access). But it’s the best we could do to try to reach as many recipients of the email as possible.

We regret bothering so many people, but we are acting upon advice of the FBI in warning you that there has been a fake email sent with the subject line: “HELP ME PLEASE!” and purporting to be from Edna Adan. A portion of the message reads:
“Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Aberdeen, Scotland for a volunteer Medical Program (VMP) and had my bag stolen from me with my passport, credit cards and mobile phones in it. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport, I just have to pay for a ticket and settle Hotel bills.”
The thieves got into Edna’s personal email account and sent this message to everyone on her contact list. They then erased her contact list, together with all of her personal emails and files. If you replied to the fake email then you were in communication with thieves. Their reply message asks for 2000 pounds to be sent immediately by Western Union to a location in Scotland.
1) We posted an announcement to the blog: http://ednahospital.org/edna2011/07/scam-alert/
2) We posted also to Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/edna.hospital
3) We reported the matter to Western Union, advising them to block wire transfers which match the particulars detailed in the thieves’ email.
4) We contacted the Aberdeen, Scotland, police.
5) We contacted Yahoo, asking them to close the thieves’ email account
6) We contacted the FBI.
The FBI said there was nothing more to be done, except to warn people who may have received the email, so this is that warning. You may well not have received the fake email – this newsletter goes to many more people than were in Edna’s personal address book, but it’s the best we can do.
If you sent money: Contact Western Union right away. They may be able to cancel the transfer and restore your money to you.

Again, we are sorry to bother you – almost certainly unnecessarily – but we wanted to do all that we could to avoid anybody being cheated.

As of a short time ago, Yahoo still has not closed the thieves’ email account. We are very disappointed in Yahoo.

Well, here is a development. Yahoo STILL has not closed the thief’s email account so we carried on the charade a bit further emailing, “We’ll send you money ASAP. What hotel are you in? I want to phone you and make certain you are all right.”

Reply from thief: “I am totally stranded now and I cannot even take a call as I lost my phones to the incident.I need a quick loan.Can you do that? Thanks for writing back”

No luck. So, with no other positive avenues available, we just decided to vent:

“Let’s go after the best, the kindest, the most generous person we can find and then make her life miserable.”
Edna has lived her whole life trying to help others. She has given away more money than you can ever hope to steal. Now, you take advantage of the love and admiration that so many people have for her. You are simply evil.

The thief responded: “I am sorry plz. Never meant harm just trying to make a living off the streets.I am a footballer and if really you are kind you would forgive me and help.”

Why in all the world should our thief imagine that we might think less horribly of him knowing that he plays soccer??

Next day. Edna has been unable to restore her messages and contact list. The thief claims to have copies of these and offers to make them available for the price of £1000. This is a non-starter, as we know this footballer to be a shameless liar and a thief. It is impossible to trust him – even if Edna were willing to pay the ransom. Yesterday, he wanted charity. Today, he wants trust. Clearly, this one is not well-grounded in reality.

Yahoo is useless. They didn’t close the thief’s fake email account. They never restored Edna’s archived emails or her Contacts List. Utterly useless.

What’s more, Edna came to find out that the thief had changed a setting so that he continued to receive copies of all of her outgoing emails! If you (or someone you know) is the victim of a similar attack then be advised that you should find that setting and make certain your thief does not retain access to your private emails even after you change your password.

One might imagine that Yahoo would be of some slight degree of help (as they promise) but it turns out they are of absolutely no help whatsoever.

Edna as Keynote Speaker on End Fistula Day

Edna as Keynote Speaker on End Fistula Day

Edna Serves as Keynote Speaker at International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) designated May 23 as International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. This was the first year of “Fistula Day,” marking the tenth anniversary of the UNFPA’s Campaign to End Fistula. Who better to serve as keynote speaker at today’s celebration in Hargeisa than the person who has been at the forefront of the battle against fistula in Somaliland since 2002?

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that Edna Adan University Hospital was chosen to partner with the UNFPA for the first-ever Fistula Day. Obstetric fistula is a horrendous condition that is usually caused by obstructed labor in a woman who has no access to qualified health care. After several days of pushing, the baby is stillborn and the mother develops a fistula, or small hole, between her birth canal and her bladder or rectum. The result of this trauma is that the woman becomes incontinent and is likely to be rejected by her husband, family and community.

End Fistula Day

As Edna pointed out in her speech, the real tragedy of obstetric fistula is that it is both preventable and treatable, yet the UNFPA estimates that approximately 2 million women in Africa and Asia are suffering from this condition in silence. Every year, another 30,000 – 50,000 women will develop a fistula. Edna outlined what is being done in Somaliland to alleviate this burden.

The key to preventing fistula is education-educating women about the necessity of prenatal care, educating communities about the need for skilled birth attendants, educating midwives about the warning signs of obstructed labor, and educating doctors about what to do when birth complications arise. At Edna Hospital, we are collaborating with the UNFPA to train 1,000 Community Midwives who will take their skills to all regions of Somaliland. We have a way to go before we reach our goal-the third class of Community Midwives is in training now-but we’re already seeing positive results from our efforts. In addition, Edna is training Post-Basic Midwives and B.Sc. Midwives who are building on their basic nursing and midwifery backgrounds.

End Fistula Day

Edna also told the crowd about the work being done at her hospital to help women suffering from obstetric fistula. With support from The Fistula Foundation and medical and surgical supplies from Direct Relief fistula patients have been treated at Edna Hospital since we opened our doors in 2002. Fistula repair is not a simple operation; it is a delicate procedure that requires a qualified surgeon, a trained support staff and proper facilities. Fortunately we have all of these things. Our operating theaters may be the best in this part of the world, and we’ve been blessed with wonderful fistula surgeons who have volunteered their time to help us develop our fistula program.

Of course we’re proud of the fact that we’ve helped hundreds of fistula patients over the years. These young women were able to reclaim their lives-rejoin their husbands, reconnect with their families and friends, go out in public with dignity and, in some cases, give birth again. But what we’re really excited about here is that two doctors, our own Dr. Shukri and Dr. Naima, are on their way to becoming very good fistula surgeons themselves. We expect it won’t be long before these two ladies are operating without supervision!

End Fistula Day

Edna’s keynote speech was followed by a representative of the UNFPA who spoke about the Campaign to End Fistula and the United Nations’ global role in attempting to eradicate this tragic condition. Short speeches were also made by other United Nations officials, government and religious leaders, as well as by a young woman who had fistula repair surgery at Edna Hospital who explained that she had no idea that help was available for people like her. The event was held at the Imperial Hotel in Hargeisa and attracted both local and international news media.

The event ended with a traditional Somali drama that was commissioned by Edna to highlight the fact that help is available for women suffering from obstetric fistula. A group of professional actors, joined by some of our multi-talented students, performed the story of a young woman who goes from living on the street to being welcomed back by her family and community after undergoing surgery to repair her fistula. In addition to providing entertainment for the crowd, the drama will be edited and reshown on Somaliland television as a way of raising awareness about this condition. The performance was well-received by the audience, although we suspect that our student actors have futures in healthcare, not Hollywood.

Another of our great supporters is Direct Relief.

First Ever Day to End Fistula Brings Attention, Progress, Challenges

“Two million women living with this disabling and often isolating condition after having suffered the loss of a child is an enormous human tragedy that is hidden in plain sight because the nature of the condition and where the women live,” said Lindsey Pollaczek, Senior Program Manager for Direct Relief. “Because fistula has been virtually eliminated in the developed world for more than a century, we know it can be done everywhere, and we are working to make that a reality for all women no matter their economic situation.”

You can help to support our work at this Huffington Post fundraiser www.crowdrise.com/raiseforwomen where we currently are #5.

End Fistula DayEnd Fistula Day

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, which is a condition suffered by approximately 140 million women worldwide.

Edna Adan has always used her hospital and her notoriety to educate the people of Somaliland to reject this practice, which has extraordinarily deep roots in the culture throughout the Horn of Africa.

On this day, Edna has provided the following statement.

As a midwife, I have been delivering babies for 50 years, many of whom were being born to women who had undergone FGM. Witnessing the FGM-associated complications that many were suffering caused me to speak out against it in public in 1976 which at that time shocked my family and my people.

37 years later, and after so many resolutions have been passed to eradicate the practice, we sadly found that 97% of our women still suffered FGM as shown in the survey carried out on 4000 women at the Edna Adan Hospital between 2002 to 2006.

We are still looking for resources to study the prevalence of FGM and hope that the next survey/audit will reveal a reduction of FGM in our women, particularly after all the campaigns that we have held over the years.


For much more detailed information about FGM as practiced in Somaliland see this link:

FGM as practiced in Somaliland

This map indicates the prevalance of Female Genital Mutilation, also known as Female Circumcision, in Africa.
FGM has no place in Islam
FGM Prevalence in Africa

And here is an article by Kate Grant, from our partner organization, The Fistula Foundation, writing about. Fistula and FGM


Year End Newsletter 2012

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 Amazon.com. 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.

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