Author: Edna Adan Hospital Foundation

Contribute to Maternal and Child Health in Somaliland

Post Written By: Thomas Kraemer Over the past week, The Edna Adan Hospital has held surgery camps to improve the lives of mothers and children in Somaliland. A blog series on the hospital’s website highlights the work being done to provide much needed medical care for young babies who suffer from birth defects and life altering medical conditions. We’re excited about the work surgeons are doing at Edna Hospital, not only because of all the children that receive medical care who would normally be out of their reach, but also because visiting surgeons provide excellent training opportunities for our Dr. Said, Dr. Shukri and Dr. Naima—young doctors who represent the future of healthcare in Somaliland. We would like to continue these surgery camps in the future, but unfortunately they put a huge financial strain on the Hospital. While many of Dr. Rhodes’s surgeries are supported by SmileTrain, Dr. Bransford’s surgeries are totally unfunded. If the camps are discontinued, a population of approximately 15 million people in the Horn of Africa will be left with nowhere to go for treatment for many types …

There is No Place for FGM

Friday, February 6 was International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Over 140 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form of FGM, also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC). FGM results in many health-related and life threatening complications for the women who are forced to undergo this practice. Facts: FGM is not a religious obligation or requirement. FGM is primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, but it is also carried out in Asia and Latin America. The problem is also persistent in Western countries among immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 6,000 girls undergo FGM around the world every day. If current trends continue, about 86 million additional girls worldwide will be subjected to FGM by 2030. “Each new generation of girls is born with the right to live as a full human being with control over her own body. By irreversibly damaging them in this way, we cripple and stunt …

Access to Maternal Healthcare in the Horn of Africa

Today is Universal Health Coverage Day, a day to advocate for universal health coverage to be a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda and a priority for all nations. Healthcare is a necessity everywhere, but it’s especially important to advocate for healthcare in developing countries. Maternal healthcare can present a lot of difficulties, especially when only one in three women in rural communities in developing countries receives necessary care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health from 2010, 350,000 women die every year during childbirth.  The WHO also said that the planet needs another 3.5 million health workers to improve women and children’s health in the 49 lowest income countries. The Edna Adan University Hospital specializes in training midwives in Somaliland*, using modern medical knowledge and techniques. Currently, most births in the country are aided by a traditional birthing attendant, a person who hasn’t gone through any sort of formal medical training. Births are often in unsanitary conditions, with no recourse if a complication arises. This takes a …

Fighting Maternal and Infant Mortality in Somaliland

This week, the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) convenes in New York City to examine 20 years of actions taken by governments to improve people’s lives and address population issues. The Head of State reaffirmed ‘their commitments to place people at the centre of development.’ Africa has 12% of the global population and accounts for half of all maternal and infant deaths. Somaliland, located in the Horn of Africa and with a population of 3.5 million has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. Almost all maternal and newborn deaths are preventable. Millions of lives can be saved if women have access to skilled and trained midwives during pregnancy and childbirth. A report released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank states ‘substantial global progress has been made in reducing child deaths, approximately 17,000 children under age five continue to die every day in 2013.’ Progress is slow and the Millennium Development Goal 4 target risks being missed at the global level. Here are some facts: …

Community Midwives: Improving Maternal and Child Health

Written by: Tom Kraemer, Edna Adan Hospital Volunteer In many parts of Africa, the most dangerous thing a woman can do is become pregnant. This startling but true statement describes the situation in the Republic of Somaliland, an otherwise peaceful and stable country in the Horn of Africa. For the past 23 years, Somaliland has been relatively free from the troubles that have plagued neighboring Somalia. It has a democratically-elected government, its own police force, flag and currency. People go through their daily affairs without fear of bombings, piracy, or other violence. When it comes to maternal and child health, Somaliland has some of the worst statistics on the planet. Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. A woman who decides to become a mother in Somaliland stands a 1 in 15 risk of death due to hemorrhage, puerperal sepsis, eclampsia, obstructed labor or other pregnancy or childbirth-related cause. How can a country that is moving in the right direction simultaneously be burdened with such dismal health outcomes? After a long and distinguished …