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Maternity Health Care Registered Charity Hires New Executive Director to save more lives

WASHINGTON – July 5, 2016

The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) registered charity that supports the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Sandeep Bathala, and welcomes her to help further the mission of the hospital and increase its impact on the health and welfare of women and children in Africa.

The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation (EAHF) was established to raise awareness about, and support the work of, the Edna Adan hospital, located in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The Edna Adan University Hospital trains midwives and other medical professionals to improve maternity healthcare in Somaliland and has also pioneered the campaign against the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa.

Bathala will help the foundation reach new partners and supporters to advance the remarkable work that Edna Adan is doing in Africa and for which she has been recognized internationally through the following awards: Legion of Honor from France; Honorary Doctoral Degree from University of Pennsylvania and the same from Clark University as well as from Ahfad Women’s University in the Sudan; President’s Gold Medal from University of Pretoria, South Africa, for her work on Human Rights; Inaugural recipient of the Renfield Award for her work on Global Health, from the University of Pennsylvania; and her name has been added to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, University of Toledo. Bathala says, “I am delighted to join EAHF and am fully committed to supporting Edna’s work to ensure that women have access to quality health care provided by trained professionals and am happy to join the effort towards the eradication of genital cutting. I am confident that the hospital not only makes a difference in the lives of girls and women treated in real and meaningful ways, but empowers women in general and midwives and nurses in particular”

“The members of the Board of the EAHF are thrilled to have Sandeep join the team given her diverse professional background in the nonprofit sector,” said Rukia Dahir, the founder and chairperson of EAHF.

Prior to this new position, Bathala led the planning, development, and implementation of seminars, workshops, and conferences on maternal and reproductive health for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Inc. She also collaborated with the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya; Oxfam India; Population Foundation of India; and Centre for Population and Reproductive Health in Nigeria. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Bathala served as Sierra Club’s Global Population Program Director, where she coordinated study tours to India and Ethiopia and outreach activities to build a base of support for integrated reproductive health programs. She spearheaded advocacy partnerships with family planning agencies in Albania and Mali at Planned Parenthood. She assisted Attie and Goldwater Productions with filming and producing documentaries on female genital cutting, family planning, and maternal health in Mali. Her experience has also been enhanced through work with several women’s organizations.

Bathala holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies and a master’s degree in social work, with an administration, planning, and policy focus – both from Rutgers University.

“Our work serves a community that has a dire need for basic health care. With Sandeep at the helm of the foundation, we will provide more women in Somaliland the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth, and in the elimination the practice of FGM,” said Edna Adan, founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital.

Somaliland and neighboring Somalia have been described as the worst places to be a mother. According to UNICEF, Somaliland has a Maternal Mortality Rate of between 1,000 and 1,400 deaths per 100,000 live births. Mothers who gave birth in Edna’s hospital during the past 14 years faired 75 percent better than the national average.

In addition to her hospital, Edna Adan is a former First Lady and a former Foreign Minister of Somaliland, a peaceful country with a population of 4 million people that is located in the Horn of Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

Contact Information:
Sandeep Bathala
202-292-3109
www.ednahospitalfoundation.org
www.ednahospital.org
sbathala@ednahospitalfoundation.org

Stories of Gratitude: Anisa M. Abdillahi

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Hear from One of the Midwives that Your Contributions Helped

Anisa AbdillahiAnisa Mohamed Abdillahi, twenty-three years old, is an Edna Adan University Hospital Post-Basic Midwifery student who has already completed the basic midwife training. She is originally from Burco in the Togdheer region, which is Somaliland’s second largest city, located around 180 km, or 111 miles, east of Hargeisa and the hospital. She has already delivered 35 babies, including a set of twins! Although she feels that midwifery can be a difficult profession, she enjoys what she does and relishes the opportunity help mothers minimize risks during pregnancy and childbirth. After she graduates from the Edna Adan University, she intends to stay in Hargeisa for the stronger job market, the opportunity to continue her studies, and most importantly, to help the women and children of Somaliland.

Please help us to train more amazing midwives like Anisa! Any contribution that you can make will help us to train additional midwives and provide everything that a future midwife needs in order to complete her studies at Edna Adan University Hospital.

We cannot fully express our gratitude but hopefully the great strides that the Edna Adan University Hospital is taking to ensure that the women of Somaliland have better health outcomes will be a great testament of our thankfulness

Join us in making #GivingTuesday 2015 the most generous day of the year!

PLEASE DONATE

Graduate Ceremony for 40 Community Midwives

On June 11, Edna Adan presided over a ceremony to present “midwife kits” to 40 recent graduates of the Community Midwife program. The midwife kits were generously donated by Direct Relief, a USA nonprofit organization. The kits contained infant and adult resuscitation sets, blood pressure cuff, various scissors and other instruments, kidney dishes, a baby scale and numerous other items. The kits are particularly crucial to the many midwives who are posted to remote regions of Somaliland and have no access to these items.  Edna is aiming to train 1000 midwives.

The ceremony was held at the Red Sea Cultural Center and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health and UNFPA.

We would like to share some of our photos from the ceremony:

 

Update: Post-Basic Midwifery Exams

An Update from Thomas Kraemer at the Edna Adan University Hospital

Fifty prospective Post-Basic Midwives sat for the written portion of the qualifying examination on Sunday. Monday, the students underwent the clinical portion of the exam (the evaluation process consists of a written examination and a clinical examination, each worth 40% of the total grade, and an interview making up the final 20%). The curriculum is approved by the Somaliland Ministry of Health, which also sends a representative to assist with the administration of the examination. Those who pass will become registered midwives and will be eligible to continue on and earn their Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degrees from Edna Adan University.

Edna exam

Edna looks on during the clinical examination.

The Post-Basic Midwifery course is funded through a grant from the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. As a prerequisite to acceptance into the program, each of the women must have already completed a three-year general nursing course and passed the examination to become a registered nurse. The participants then have nine months of training focused specifically on midwifery skills.

The Post-Basic Midwifery curriculum is a combination of theoretical (classroom) study and practical training. To complete the course, each student must assist in a minimum of 50 deliveries. At least the first 25 births must take place at Edna Hospital under the supervision of the program instructors. Once the instructors are satisfied with their students’ progress, the students will rotate through the country’s Hargeisa Group Hospital, the country’s main public hospital, and four Maternal and Child Health centers in Hargeisa.

After completing their practical training, students who pass the qualifying examination will be certified as registered midwives and will be eligible for government employment. However, the majority of the students will likely remain for another nine months of study to earn their Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degrees before entering the workforce.

Student with  mannequin

A student uses a mannequin during her clinical examination.

The clinical examination took place in a large classroom that had been converted into a hospital room, complete with patient beds, scales, IV stands, hazardous waste disposal bins and patient charts. A large table was laid out like a hospital storeroom, stocked with everything from rubber gloves, blood pressure cuffs and bandages, to medications, syringes and suture kits.

Students entered the room individually and were assigned to two examiners. There were 52 possible situations that each student might be asked to handle; these situations were assigned randomly and the students were required to orally explain the proper treatment while demonstrating the requisite skills on a mannequin or role-playing with one of the examiners.

The potential situations varied greatly and students had only one chance; they had to be ready for anything. Some of the scenarios posited were general:

A 28-week pregnant woman has presented at the antenatal clinic. Identify what steps you would follow in her case. What health education would you give her?

Other scenarios were much more specific:

A neonate was brought back for admission 9 days after delivery with umbilical sepsis. What are the signs/symptoms and management of umbilical sepsis?

The doctor ordered “Give gentamycin injection 60 mg, IM Stat.” On hand, you have an ampoule labeled “Gentamycin 80mg/2ml.” How many ml will you give?

The students were graded not only on correct procedure, but also on how they went about their business—interacting with the patient, explaining what she was doing and why, calmly gathering everything she needed before beginning, and properly cleaning up afterward. It appeared that most of the students were able to carry out their assignments efficiently and confidently, and the women are well on their way to becoming qualified midwives.

This is the fourth group of Post-Basic Midwives that have been trained under Edna’s watchful eye. The course coordinator, Ayan Abdi Hussein, was among the first group of Post-Basic Midwives to graduate and has remained at the hospital to help the midwifery training programs flourish.

Learn more about Edna’s effort to train 1000 Midwives: Community Midwives: Improving Maternal and Child Health

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 traini1654925_296558233876580_2927809714909950975_o-2-2ng 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 harsh toll on the mothers of Somaliland, with 1,044 mothers dying per 100,000 live births, which is one of the highest rates in the world.

Additionally, almost all of the following deaths are preventable:

  • 289,000 women and 2.6 million newborns who died during childbirth in 2014.
  • 3 million infants died within the first few months of their lives.
  • A woman who is 100 times more likely to die during childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa than in an industrialized country.

This same case study by the WHO found that 500 midwives educated and deployed in Bangladesh could save 36,000 lives over the course of 30 years. 87 percent of the essential care for women and newborns can be performed by an educated midwife.

The midwives that the hospital trains are disbursed throughout the country after their education is complete. They serve a vital role in Somaliland society, helping to form a protective web across the country so that women in any part of Somaliland can have a trained medical professional on hand for a pregnancy. Midwives can assist in births in rural areas and help to funnel difficult pregnancies back to the hospital. The hospital hopes to train 1,000 midwives to cover the country.  We have currently trained 400.

The other part of providing adequate maternal health care is access to proper supplies. The Edna Hospital has expanded its facilities, including a radiology department which was built this year.  It also uses improvised technological devices, such as an oxygen mask that runs through a water bottle, so that it bubbles when oxygen is flowing. Continued support can help the hospital and the midwives it trains to reach more women and children in need, because everyone, and especially mothers, should have access to affordable healthcare.

* Somaliland is the former British Protectorate which borders between Djibouti and Ethiopia.

This post was featured in Girls’ Globe website

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