The caring and compassionate face of Somaliland


Beautiful, outspoken, elegant, educated, intellectual and astute, Edna Aden Ismail was indeed a  perfe ct former foreign affairs minister of Somaliland, the wife of the late presi dent M.I.Egal, the founder & director of Edna Hospital and a tireless campaigner for  go od causes in Somaliland.

The University of Pretoria has picked Edna’s exceptional love for humanity and decided this week (10th Dec 09) to award her with the Chancellors medal for her outstanding contribution to humanity, and particularly with regard to helping the under-privileged people of Somaliland, especially the women and children to realize their rights to health, coincide sharply with Human Rights debates across the globe.

Dr. Edna’s contributions are by far unmatched. She centered her contributions on a  ma tter that  hau nts nations as powerful as the US and Canada, being the health issue. She is indeed a trailblazer and pace setter. We owe her a duty to follow in her shoes and do what men of civilized nations do; that is to fix our house firstly.

It was indeed an honor to witness well known professors and academics, UN  ambassa dors, governme nt officials, members from the civil societies at large, addressing about Dr. Edna’s passion for serving humanity to some 29 LLM graduates and large very  imp ortant audiences.

Dr. Edna is the first woman in Somalia/Somaliland to qualify as a nurse, the first woman to be  appoint ed a director in the government, the first to speak out against female  ge nital mutilation in the horn of Africa in the 1970s, the first woman in Somalia/Somaliland to obtain a driver’s license, and now the  fo under of a maternity hospital.

“I still have the energy and determination to serve humanity even at 72 years of age” smilingly shares with members of the Somaliland community in South Africa.

She pulled out pamphlets and statistical reports on her Hospital. There were lots of  ph otographs of young and gorgeous young ladies interning at the hospital and a woman undergoing a caesarian. She shared these documents with the attendees of the  gradu ation ceremony.

Covering the daily/monthly running costs of the hospital is among the many challenges Dr. Edna faces. “the running costs of the hospital ranging from water/electricity, med ical equipments, medications, expanding the hospital, goes beyond our capability but wi th God’s grace, we carry on despite all these challenges” says Edna.

Dr. Edna’s award means much than that which meets the eye. It is redemption of nation awaking from a nightmare.

Congratulations are in order.

Dr. Edna Adan can be reached at:

Edna Adan Maternity Hospital
Mobile: +252-2-4426922
Fax: +252-2-515454



Saeed Furaa
Freelance Journalist, Somaliland Activist
South Africa