Fadumo[1] had already been bleeding for eight days when she woke up one morning to intense pain. She could hardly breathe.

Fadumo clutched her belly. What if something were wrong with her first-ever pregnancy?

The 22-year-old decided to go with her husband to a local clinic in Maroodi Jex, the region where they lived in western Somaliland.

A midwife immediately knew what was happening.

“My name is Amaal,” the midwife said to Fadumo and her husband. “You have had a miscarriage.”

Without proper care, Amaal explained, the miscarriage could lead to a life-threatening infection. Amaal had recently received a training on post-abortion care by PSI Somaliland, where she’d learned how to perform manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), a minor surgical procedure that would remove the pregnancy and save Fadumo’s life.

Like Fadumo, women across Somaliland often face difficult pregnancies. Early marriage, high fertility rates, low levels of contraceptive use, widespread female circumcision, and a lack of emergency health services in many parts in the country stack the odds against a healthy, planned pregnancy.

Too often, pregnancies – and resulting miscarriages – in Somaliland can be deadly.

Simple interventions can save lives and open new conversations about women’s health. In Somaliland, PSI worked with the Ministry of Health and Development to train healthcare workers in how to provide safe, professional post-abortion care (PAC) after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or other pregnancy loss. The program incorporates values training to help challenge the stigma that accompanies sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH).

Read the full article about making pregnancy safer in Somaliland by Kingsley Chukwumalu and Abdulkarem Dahir at PSI.