Somaliland: Teamwork helps baby hospital

Photo credit: Líba Taylor

A FORMER Nobel prize nominee is spending her 80th birthday collecting donations for a hospital.

Edna Adan Ismail, a former foreign minister from Somaliland, will be in Storrington on Friday collecting items to fill a shipping container to be sent to the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in the capital, Hargeisa.

It is the only hospital of its kind in the country where the infant mortality rate is among the highest in the world.

She is working alongside Storrington business owner Ian Fenwick, of Anglo Somaliland Resources, who met her on a business trip five years ago.

He said: “My company works a lot in Somaliland and on my second trip to the country Edna found me and took me to see her hospital.

“She showed me a baby that was only a kilogram in weight and then another child suffering with hydrocephalus – water on the brain.

“As both a father and a grandfather, it was upsetting.”

Since then, Mr Fenwick has returned four times to the country, taking three suitcases full to the brim with his grandchildren’s clothes and toys as they grew out of them.

He also picked up clean nappies and packets of Pombears to donate – the crisps are light enough in weight to transport and dissolve in children’s mouths.

This year, Mr Fenwick has managed to obtain £250,000 worth of redundant medical equipment for the shipping container.

The equipment, which would otherwise have been thrown away, was donated by the Ashford and Saint Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Chertsey, Surrey.

It includes hospital beds, trolleys, wheelchairs, syringes and swabs, essential for basic healthcare in Somaliland.

With support from his twin daughters Hollie Puttock and Rebecca Novis, he managed stack up 100 boxes full of clothes, toys and blankets, including 300 dresses made and donated by Storrington sewing shop Sew Something.

However, Mr Fenwick hopes to completely fill the container.

Anyone wishing to make donations should email Ian Fenwick on or visit The New Barn, Lickfold Farm, Wiggonholt on Friday from 2pm to 5pm.