The Story Exchange, Edna Adan Ismail, Edna Adan HospitalYour Name: Edna Adan Ismail

Business Name: Edna Adan Hospital, a non-profit maternity hospital; Edna Adan University, a school to train and educate midwives and nurses

Type of Business: Coaching & Consulting/Health & Beauty/Medical/Academic Institution

Business Location: Hargeisa, Somaliland

Twitter @EdnaAdan

Reason for starting
Health and education facilities were destroyed in my country during civil war. After I retired from a long career with the World Health Organization, I just could not turn my back on my people who had suffered much destruction becuse of the civil war. I just went home, built a hospital, and immersed myself in the reconstruction of my country. This was the best decision I had ever taken. The hospital has now become a referral hospital as well as a teaching facility for health workers. Last year, we also opened the Edna Adan University for nurses, midwives, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and for public health.

How do you define success?
The patients we treat. The babies we deliver. The students we train. The appreciation of our community for having built a hospital where there was none other before and where there were no health personnel training opportunities until we started our school. Another sign of success is when our graduates apply for job vacancies and get the job through examinations that help them win the top positions.

Biggest Success
Our former graduates are now teaching in other newly established nursing and midwifery schools. Some are teaching in Universities and others are running health clinics throughout Somaliland I now know that I have ‘clones’.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Lack of insufficient number of trained health workers and always lack of funds. Continue to subsidize hospital with my UN pension and do fundraising to cover gaps.

Who is your most important role model?
Dr. Kathryn Hamlin of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.

To support Edna in her fundraising efforts in The Raise for Women Challenge, click here.