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0120190805

The memoir of Edna Adan Ismail, a remarkable daughter, midwife and First Lady.

As the eldest child of an overworked doctor in 1950s Somaliland, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on the country’s people, especially women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM as an 8 year-old girl, Edna’s determination was born.

She became a nurse and midwife, a formidable teacher and a campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna also rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister. But mixing with Presidents and Princes, she never forgot her roots and continued to train midwives – a role she has to this day.

In time, she built her own hospital, brick by brick, in the face of many obstacles - to ensure the training of future generations. The indomitable 82 year-old Edna still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is "simply a midwife".

In episode one, Edna remembers her parents' attempts to give her an education despite the lack of schooling available for Somali Muslim girls. She recalls the effect of observing her father’s medical career on her own aspirations. Her childhood is traumatised by her forced circumcision at the age of 8 years-old.

Read by Cathy Tyson.
Abridged by Anna Magnusson.
Produced by Pippa Vaughan.
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Edna Ismail's memoir of her Somali childhood devastated by the trauma of FGM.

By Edna Adan Ismail. The midwife who built a hospital and changed the world.

0220190806

The memoir of Edna Adan Ismail, a remarkable daughter, midwife and First Lady.

As the eldest child of an overworked doctor in 1950s Somaliland, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on the country’s people, especially women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM as an eight-year-old girl, Edna’s determination was born.

She became a nurse and midwife, a formidable teacher and a campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna also rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister. But mixing with Presidents and Princes, she never forgot her roots and continued to train midwives – a role she has to this day.

In time, she built her own hospital, brick by brick, in the face of many obstacles - to ensure the training of future generations. The indomitable 82-year-old Edna still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is 'simply a midwife'.

In this episode, Edna travels to London to complete her nursing training. The training is demanding but her father assures her that midwifery will make a huge difference to women’s health when she returns home.

Read by Cathy Tyson
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Edna Ismail\u2019s memoir of nursing training in London, a long way from her Somaliland home.

By Edna Adan Ismail. The midwife who built a hospital and changed the world.

0320190807

The memoir of Edna Adan Ismail, a remarkable daughter, midwife and First Lady.

As the eldest child of an overworked doctor in 1950s Somaliland, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on the country’s people, especially women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM as an eight-year-old girl, Edna’s determination was born.

She became a nurse and midwife, a formidable teacher and a campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna also rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister. But mixing with Presidents and Princes, she never forgot her roots and continued to train midwives – a role she has to this day.

In time, she built her own hospital, brick by brick, in the face of many obstacles - to ensure the training of future generations. The indomitable 82-year-old Edna still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is 'simply a midwife'.

In episode three, Edna experiences a profound culture shock when she returns to a newly independent Somali Republic. She longs to put into practice all she’s learned from the advanced medical teaching on offer in London. Instead, she is soon working in a hospital with no guidance, little equipment - and no salary.

Read by Cathy Tyson
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Edna Ismail\u2019s memoir of life as a midwife in Somaliland with little equipment and no pay.

By Edna Adan Ismail. The midwife who built a hospital and changed the world.

0420190808

The memoir of Edna Adan Ismail, a remarkable daughter, midwife and First Lady.

As the eldest child of an overworked doctor in 1950s Somaliland, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on the country’s people, especially women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM as an 8 year-old girl, Edna’s determination was born.

She became a nurse and midwife, a formidable teacher and a campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna also rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister. But mixing with Presidents and Princes, she never forgot her roots and continued to train midwives – a role she has to this day.

In time, she built her own hospital, brick by brick, in the face of many obstacles - to ensure the training of future generations. The indomitable 82 year-old Edna still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is "simply a midwife".

In episode four, Edna recalls the pain and humiliation of her wedding night as a circumcised woman. Now a First Lady, married to the Somali Republic’s Prime Minister, she insists on continuing to work at the hospital and carrying out emergency midwifery work in remote nomadic settlements. Political turmoil affects her personal life.

Read by Cathy Tyson.
Abridged by Anna Magnusson.
Produced by Pippa Vaughan.
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Edna Ismail describes the pain of her wedding night as a circumcised woman.

By Edna Adan Ismail. The midwife who built a hospital and changed the world.

0520190809

The memoir of Edna Adan Ismail, a remarkable daughter, midwife and First Lady.

As the eldest child of an overworked doctor in 1950s Somaliland, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on the country’s people, especially women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM as an eight-year-old girl, Edna’s determination was born.

She became a nurse and midwife, a formidable teacher and a campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna also rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister. But mixing with Presidents and Princes, she never forgot her roots and continued to train midwives – a role she has to this day.

In time, she built her own hospital, brick by brick, in the face of many obstacles - to ensure the training of future generations. The indomitable 82-year-old Edna still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is 'simply a midwife'.

In the final episode, Edna’s marriage to Mohammed ends, following a military coup. But, undaunted and in the face of extraordinary obstacles, Edna achieves her life’s ambition - she builds her longed-for hospital. She also continues her passionate campaign against FGM.

Read by Cathy Tyson
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Edna Ismail escalates her lifetime campaign against FGM.

By Edna Adan Ismail. The midwife who built a hospital and changed the world.