Join us to ensure the health and dignity of mothers by treating and preventing terrible childbirth injuries.
We’ve restored the dignity of 60,000 women.
We are dedicated to restoring the health and dignity of women who have survived the horrendous – and preventable – childbirth injury: obstetric fistula.
Founded 60 years ago by pioneering Australian surgeons Catherine and Reg Hamlin, their extraordinary journey started with an initial three year posting to Ethiopia. Today it reflects a lifetime quest to provide world best treatment to the most marginalised women: those who have suffered an obstetric fistula, an internal injury caused by an obstructed childbirth, which leaves them incontinent, humiliated and cut off from their communities.
Fistula sufferers are the lepers of the 21st century.
Yet these injuries are entirely preventable – in fact, obstetric fistulas are virtually a thing of the past in western countries. But in rural Ethiopia, where women have little or no access to maternal healthcare, they will be in agonising labour for days if their birth is obstructed. They almost always lose their baby and suffer unimaginably horrific internal damage that leaves them leaking urine, faeces, and sometimes both.
If that wasn’t traumatic enough, these women are isolated and pushed to the edge of their society – forgotten and invisible.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia works to mend this trauma, healing these women through surgery, rehabilitation and counselling – so they can be whole again.
Established by Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation in Australia raises funds for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. We have one purpose and one purpose only: eradicating fistula.
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation has one purpose and one purpose only: eradicating fistula. Forever.
When I first met Catherine, straightaway I saw shining through the qualities and attributes which have made her one of the most loved and admired women in the world: warmth, energy, humour, optimism, vivacity, empathy, authenticity. I treasure my friendship with Catherine and I am grateful for the source of inspiration, courage and support she brings to my life.
– Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO
Help us do more
You can support the obstetric fistula foundation today by making a tax-deductible donation.
Obstetric fistula can be repaired with a single life changing surgery. This operation can take as little as 60 minutes for simple cases.
Catherine’s dream is to eradicate fistula forever, so that every woman can be free of these atrocious injuries and live a life they deserve.
A life every woman deserves.
$50 could provide physiotherapy
for one patient.
$150 could provide literacy and numeracy
classes to a recovering patient.
Standard fistula surgery
$700 could fund one standard fistula operation in
a Hamlin regional hospital, restoring a woman’s life