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New Executive Director Sandeep Bathala

New Executive Director Sandeep Bathala

Press Release

The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) registered charity that supports the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Sandeep Bathala, and welcomes her to help further the mission of the hospital and increase its impact on the health and welfare of women and children in Africa.

The Edna Adan University Hospital trains midwives and other medical professionals to improve maternity healthcare in Somaliland and has also pioneered the campaign against the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa.

Bathala will help the foundation reach new partners and supporters to advance the remarkable work that Edna Adan is doing in Africa and for which she has been recognized internationally through the following awards: Legion of Honor from France; Honorary Doctoral Degree from University of Pennsylvania and the same from Clark University as well as from Ahfad Women’s University in the Sudan; President’s Gold Medal from University of Pretoria, South Africa, for her work on Human Rights; Inaugural recipient of the Renfield Award for her work on Global Health, from the University of Pennsylvania; and her name has been added to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, University of Toledo.

Bathala says, “I am delighted to join EAHF and am fully committed to supporting Edna’s work to ensure that women have access to quality health care provided by trained professionals and am happy to join the effort towards the eradication of genital cutting. I am confident that the hospital not only makes a difference in the lives of girls and women treated in real and meaningful ways, but empowers women in general and midwives and nurses in particular”

“The members of the Board of the EAHF are thrilled to have Sandeep join the team given her diverse professional background in the nonprofit sector,” said Rukia Dahir, the founder and chairperson of EAHF.
Prior to this new position, Bathala led the planning, development, and implementation of seminars, workshops, and conferences on maternal and reproductive health for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Inc. She also collaborated with the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya; Oxfam India; Population Foundation of India; and Centre for Population and Reproductive Health in Nigeria.

Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Bathala served as Sierra Club’s Global Population Program Director, where she coordinated study tours to India and Ethiopia and outreach activities to build a base of support for integrated reproductive health programs. She spearheaded advocacy partnerships with family planning agencies in Albania and Mali at Planned Parenthood. She assisted Attie and Goldwater Productions with filming and producing documentaries on female genital cutting, family planning, and maternal health in Mali. Her experience has also been enhanced through work with several women’s organizations.

Bathala holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies and a master’s degree in social work, with an administration, planning, and policy focus – both from Rutgers University.

“Our work serves a community that has a dire need for basic health care. With Sandeep at the helm of the foundation, we will provide more women in Somaliland the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth, and in the elimination the practice of FGM,” said Edna Adan, founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital.

Somaliland and neighboring Somalia have been described as the worst places to be a mother. According to UNICEF, Somaliland has a Maternal Mortality Rate of between 1,000 and 1,400 deaths per 100,000 live births. Mothers who gave birth in Edna’s hospital during the past 14 years faired 75 percent better than the national average.

In addition to her hospital, Edna Adan is a former First Lady and a former Foreign Minister of Somaliland, a peaceful country with a population of 4 million people that is located in the Horn of Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

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