The health of the people of Somaliland is among the worst in Africa . This statement is supported by the fact that even before the civil war and the separation of the two Somali states, Somalia had one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. While recent valid data is not available, the mortality rates after the destruction that has taken place in country is frightening to consider.
-One out of 8 babies dies before the age of 12 months
-Every year nearly 4,000 Somali women die in childbirth
-One out of 5 children dies before the age of five
-Life expectancy is only 48 years
In the Somaliland region of Somalia, an extraordinary woman named Edna Adan Ismail runs her own obstetric hospital and trains midwives, underscoring how women’s lives can be saved even in the most difficult environments. The hospital site, once used as a mass killing field during the civil war for independence (1988-1990) under Siad Barre’s reign, is now a haven for bringing new life into the world.
Xavier Helgesen, co-founder of BWB, learned about this hospital in a New York Times article, and contacted the hospital after the announcement of the Better World Books Fund for Books For Africa, and a container of books was received in late July.
The Better World Books Fund is designed to pay for the shipping costs of containers of books, donated through Books For Africa. The Fund is important, because the shipping costs for this one container alone were over $5,000.
The donated books will be used for the hospital’s medical library for the Edna Adan Teaching Hospital. While the library could not currently contain a whole container of books, any extra books with will be distributed to Universities in Somalia and governmental nursing facilities.