Somali human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, doctor and founder of The Hawa Abdi Foundation, Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe has passed away. The announcement was made this morning on Facebook by her daughter Deqo Mohamed.
“Mama Hawa”, as she was affectionately known to locals, became Somalia’s first female gynaecologist in 1971. In 1983, Dr. Hawa set up the Rural Health Development Organization (which was renamed The Hawa Abdi Foundation in 2007) in the southern Lower Shabelle region. This clinic offered free obstetrician services to women in need.
When the Somali civil war broke out in 1991, those that fled the conflict in Mogadishu found solace in Dr. Hawa. Her clinic became a make-shift internally displaced persons camp which contained close to 90,000 people at one point. The clinic continued to play an integral role in the provision of aid and shelter to the vulnerable during conflicts and natural disasters.
In 2012, Dr. Hawa was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her decades of humanitarian work in Somalia.
[Photo credit: Pieter Hugo]