By: Mohamed Osman Guudle (PhD)
Dr. Edna Adan Ismail is a nurse-midwife, hospital founder, and healthcare advocate who has worked courageously to change the lives of women and children in the Republic of Somaliland. She was born in 1937 in British Somaliland, and grew up in a household that valued education and social justice. Her father, a doctor, instilled in her a love of learning and a commitment to helping others.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Ismail moved to England to study nursing. She returned to Somaliland in 1967 and later founded the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital, the first modern maternity hospital in Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland. The hospital provides high-quality healthcare to women and newborns, and has trained thousands of midwives and nurses.
Credit: Tim Cole/Templeton Prize
In 2003, Dr. Adan was appointed as first female Foreign Minister of the Republic of Somaliland. She served in this position until 2006. During her time as Foreign Minister, she worked to promote peace and stability in Somaliland. She also worked to improve Somaliland’s relationship with the international community.
Dr. Ismail is also a vocal advocate for the abolition of female genital mutilation (FGM). She has spoken out against FGM on numerous occasions, and has worked to raise awareness of the harmful effects of this practice. In 2002, she founded the Edna Adan Foundation, which works to eradicate FGM in Somaliland.
Dr. Ismail has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2010 Clinton Global Citizen Award and the 2013 UN Population Award. In 2023, Dr. Adan was awarded the Templeton Prize for her work in promoting women’s health and dignity. The Templeton Prize is a prestigious award that is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the world. Dr. Adan is the first woman from Africa to receive the Templeton Prize. Dr. Edna Adan Ismail is a true inspiration.
She is a tireless advocate for women’s health and rights, and her work has made a real difference in the lives of countless people in Somaliland. She is a role model for women everywhere, and her story is a testament to the power of one person to make a difference in the world.
Here are some of her notable achievements:
- Founded the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in 2002
- Trained thousands of midwives and nurses
- Spoke out against FGM on numerous occasions
- Founded the Edna Adan Foundation in 2002
- Received numerous awards, including the 2010 Clinton Global Citizen Award, the 2013 UN Population Award, and the 2023 Templeton Prize.
Dr. Edna Adan Ismail is a true inspiration and a role model for women everywhere. She is a tireless advocate for women’s health and rights, and her work has made a real difference in the lives of countless people in Somaliland.
About the Author
Dr. Mohamed O. Guudle is an Associate Professor and Expert Scholar on Somaliland economics and politics. He is the president and founder of the Somaliland Society of Political Scientists (SPSS), a non-profit organization that promotes the study and practice of political science in Somaliland and the region. Dr. Guudle currently serves as Senior Political Advisor with the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter https://twitter.com/mohamedguudle?lang=en
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