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Somaliland

All major risk factors for obstetric fistula, including inadequate prenatal care, malnutrition and early marriage, are present in Somaliland.

Why We Work in Somaliland

Situated in the Horn of Africa between Somalia and Ethiopia, Somaliland has made tremendous strides since the civil conflict that afflicted the region from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Somaliland is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia; its self-proclaimed independence, however, remains unrecognized by any country or international organization. 

Because of this, our picture of maternal health in Somaliland comes from neighboring Somalia (which includes Somaliland in its data gathering) and reports from our partners in the field. The limited data available suggests a high rate of maternal mortality— which in turn indicates a high occurrence of childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula. 

With all major risk factors for fistula—including  inadequate prenatal care, malnutrition and early marriage—present in the country, improving access to both quality obstetric services and fistula treatment in Somaliland remains critical.

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build Somaliland’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with National Borama Fistula Hospital and Edna Adan University Hospital to deliver fistula treatment to women in Somaliland.

What projects are we currently funding?

National Borama Fistula Hospital, Borama

Our trusted partners at the National Borama Fistula Hospital run the only facility in the Horn of Africa that is completely dedicated to fistula care.  The hospital addresses treatment from every angle— beginning with wide community education and fistula prevention training for local birth attendants. Patients are found through radio and television announcements, and referred through community liaisons. Each woman’s journey to health is free of charge, including transportation, pre– and post-operative care, psychological counseling, and job skills training.

Edna Adan University Hospital, Hargeisa     

Edna Adan University Hospital in Hargeisa was founded by Edna Adan, an inspiring figure and advocate for women and girls. The first Somali woman to be certified as a nurse-midwife in the United Kingdom, Edna spent several decades training midwives in her home country and as a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) throughout Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region. In 2002, Edna realized her dream of opening a hospital in Somaliland to improve healthcare conditions for the women and children of her country.

Today, the Edna Adan University Hospital is one of the preeminent medical facilities in the country. In 2009, Fistula Foundation funded the construction of a brand new fistula repair facility at the hospital, significantly increasing their capacity to treat fistula patients locally. We have since provided funding for a variety of projects, including treatment, midwife training, and transportation costs for women who come from hundreds of miles away to access care at Edna Adan University Hospital.

How much funding have we granted?

National Borama Fistula Hospital

  • $159,837 in FY2019
  • $304,525 in FY2018
  • $91,413 in FY2017
  • $185,663 in FY2016
  • $170,663 in FY2014
  • $25,000 in FY2013
  • $166,850 in FY2012
  • $142,000 in FY2010

Edna Adan University Hospital

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $54,724 in FY2018
  • $38,000 in FY2016
  • $199,612 in FY2015
  • $131,465 in FY2014
  • $86,004 in FY2013
  • $75,000 in FY2012
  • $10,559 in FY2011
  • $10,559 in FY2011
  • $7,500 in FY2010
  • $150,000 in FY2009

News from the Field

Dr. Thomas Raassen Visits Somaliland  •  November 15, 2018
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For more than three decades, fistula surgeon Dr. Thomas Raassen has been traveling the globe, changing the lives of suffering women. He has very likely performed fistula surgeries in more...
For more than three decades, fistula surgeon Dr. Thomas Raassen has been traveling the globe, changing the lives of suffering women. He has very likely performed fistula surgeries in more countries than any other surgeon in the world. Originally from Amsterdam, Dr. Raassen lived in Kenya for many years, and has operated in more than 60 hospitals across Africa and Asia. He has performed thousands of fistula surgeries, and is considered one of the foremost experts in the field.
Celebrating International Women's Day: Three Women You Need to Know  •  March 08, 2016
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Today as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to three incredible women that Fistula Foundation is fortunate to work with, who...
Today as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to three incredible women that Fistula Foundation is fortunate to work with, who have dedicated their lives to helping women who suffer from the devastating childbirth injury obstetric fistula. Habiba Corodhia Mohamed is the founder of WADADIA, a community based organization in western Kenya that provides psycho-social support, economic empowerment and reproductive health to women in need.
The Muslim Mother Teresa  •  October 01, 2012
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I hope I live to see the day where a humanitarian hero is referred to as the Christian Edna Adan. Who's Edna Adan? The short answer: she's a nurse-midwife, founder...
I hope I live to see the day where a humanitarian hero is referred to as the Christian Edna Adan. Who's Edna Adan? The short answer: she's a nurse-midwife, founder of a hospital bearing her name, who's saving and changing the lives of tens of thousands of people in Somaliland -- a place not even recognized as a country. She's also a Muslim. Edna is as tough as General Petraeus, as compassionate as the Pope, as tireless as Michael Phelps, as beautiful at 75 as Tina Turner, and has a 'get-it-done-no-excuses" work ethic to rival Bill Gates.

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