Nimco Cabdillahi - Somaliland


Nominated by Edna Adan Maternity Hospital. Click here to see a recent blog post with more information about Nimco's work and plans for the award funds.

My name is Nimco Cabdillahi. I began studying nursing in 1/1/2007 until 30/12/2009 and added an extra year of post basic midwifery until 3/12/2010. Two weeks after my graduation, I went to work in a district hospital in a town between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which is 68 km away from the capital city Hargeisa. This was the first time for me to leave Hargeisa, and the reason behind that was because of the experiences I witnessed while studying in Edna teaching Hospital; especially the maternity ward. I saw many women from this specific town who had to go through life threatening conditions, because of the lack of appropriate medical services where they lived.

That’s why I chose Baligubadle district Hospital to practice my profession, and to help cut down the maternal mortality there. The challenges I faced during the two years I worked in this district:

1. A mother of 12 children who lived in the border between Ethiopia and Somaliland which was 50 km away from where I worked. This mother suffered from severe anemia; her HB was 3 g/dl, she was in labour for three days and the fetus was dead. She really needed emergency medical care and fortunately they brought her to the hospital and she survived.

2. A mother of eight, who never had any of her children in a hospital was in labour in her house which was 30km away from the hospital. She came in with high blood pressure which was 180/120 mmhg, she was three cm dilated and her blood Hb was 2.5g/dl. We immediately referred her to Edna hospital in Hargeisa, for her to get an emergency c-section. Unfortunately she died in the OR because her condition was so bad.

3. The most challenging one was, a mother of 11, who was in labour for four days in her house. They brought her to the hospital at 2:30 am, and the baby was big but unfortunately dead. We had to immediately take her to Hargeisa, to Edna hospital. The ride was four hours and her condition was getting worse. We reached the hospital and they immediately prepared her for an emergency c-section. After taking out the dead fetus, she started bleeding heavily; they had to give her 13 units of blood. When the doctors saw that the bleeding wasn’t stopping, they decided to remove her uterus to save her life. They gave her four more units of blood. The operation was successful. She stayed in the hospital for a month of intensive care and went home alive and well.

If awarded this prize, $10,000 would go a long way towards helping us improve our health facility.

Among the most important would be having gloves, gauze dressings, sutures and disinfectants. These basic supplies are not available to us and we often make do with whatever the mother brings with her or has in her hut. Besides these supplies, we would love to have solar panels installed to help us have some lighting at night which is always a problem to see what we are doing when delivering a baby at night. Currently, we rely on Kerosene lamps when in the health centre but they are not ideal as they create a health hazard. A life-saving addition to our health centre would be to have a small laboratory where we could screen blood donors, do cross-matching and be able to take blood for transfusions. We have had some women die of hemorrhage who could have been saved if a blood transfusion had been available for them.