‘Guri aan hooyolahayni waa lama degaan’
(A home without a mother is like a desert’) ~ Somali Proverb
By: Edna Adan Maternity Hospital
Somalilandsun – Our best wishes to all mothers today wherever they may be because in Hargeisa, Somaliland, we celebrate and honor all mothers.
It’s already been an eventful year for Edna Adan and the Edna Adan University Hospital – and it got even more remarkable when, yesterday, our friend New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recommended support of Edna Hospital as a fitting way to honor the girls still missing in Nigeria: Honoring the Missing Schoolgirls.
With sheer excitement, the hospital recently celebrated its 12th Anniversary and, at the same time, graduated 254 students. This was the last set of graduates to receive certificates and diplomas. However, the degree programs within the Hospital itself, continues as always.
On May 6, the Save Our Children State of the World’s Mothers report ranked Somalia (the hospital provides care to patients from Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti and parts of Ethiopia) as the worst place in the world to be a mother. The Mother’s Index based the study on five factors:
• Maternal death rate
• Under-five death rates
• Expected number of years of formal schooling
• Gross national income per capita
• Percentage of seats held by women in the national government
Even given the progress made in Somaliland to increase the availability of maternal health care, the majority of women across Somaliland remain without full access to health care. All sorts of investment in women and girls is needed, but a key objective is we need more midwives. Training community midwives is crucial to tackling Somaliland’s high infant and maternal mortality rates.
According to the Ministry of Health report in 2011, the Somaliland population of 3.85 million has a total of 86 physicians, 369 qualified nurses and 89 midwives in the public sector; that’s one doctor and one Midwife for every 45,000 people.
Edna Adan University Hospital has made great strides to address the country’s shortfall of health workers. Edna has trained over 300 midwives and nurses, and just this past month the hospital expanded the Community Midwife Training Program. Edna’s program has received the full backing of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, along with many small rural villages and towns. A total of 40 students will be participating in the two-year training program, which will take place in the neighboring towns of Berbera and Gabiley. The Community Midwife program will continue to expand until the country reaches 1000 midwives.