This Mother’s Day I have many reasons to be thankful. The Edna Adan University Hospital (EAUH) in Somaliland just celebrated its 15th anniversary. Since its opening in 2002, more than 20,000 babies have been delivered and over 1,000 midwives, nurses, and other health workers have been trained. The hospital remains committed to providing first-rate health care to the community and to battling female genital mutilation.
But these are very challenging times. We are facing the worst drought in the last 60 years. Because of the drought, maternal morbidity and mortality – which were very high anyway – have risen due to severe malnutrition in women causing them to either miscarry or go into premature labor several weeks ahead of their due dates. Our maternity ward and NICU are always full.
Yet this has also been a time when our nursing students have risen to the challenge. Fatouma and baby Mohamed came from rural Somaliland to EAUH for Mohamed to have hydrocephalus surgery. Deficiencies in maternal nutrition have been postulated as an indirect underlying cause of hydrocephalus, fluid on the brain. After surgery, a blood transfusion, and treatment of an infection, our surgeon teased Fatouma about giving a camel in exchange for saving Mohamed’s life. Fatouma responded with a flood of tears crying out that all her family’s livestock had died in the drought. Our students, moved with compassion, began collecting donations to help mothers like Fatouma.
We invite you to honor mothers by making a donation which will provide food, water, and medication for an increasing number during their hospital stays.