Eradicating Fistula Forever.

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You have helped restore health and dignity to over 60,000 Ethiopian women. Thank you.

Every woman deserves to live free from obstetric fistula. With your ongoing support, we can make Dr Catherine Hamlin’s vision of a Fistula-Free Ethiopia a reality. 

Join the movement of passionate people fighting to end preventable childbirth injuries in Ethiopia. 

A Lifetime of Caring

A Lifetime of Caring

Restoring Health and Dignity

Dr Catherine Hamlin

At Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation, we are dedicated to restoring the health and dignity of women who have survived a horrendous – and preventable – childbirth injury: obstetric fistula.

Over 60 years ago pioneering Australian surgeons Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin, started their extraordinary journey with an initial three-year posting to Ethiopia. Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia reflects a lifetime quest to provide world-best treatment to the most marginalised women: those who have suffered an obstetric fistula. Fistula is an internal injury caused by a prolonged, unrelieved obstructed labour, which leaves women incontinent, humiliated and cut off from their communities.

Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a healthcare network of over 550 Ethiopian staff servicing six hospitals, a rehabilitation and reintegration centre, the Hamlin College of Midwives and over 90 Hamlin-supported rural midwifery clinics. Hamlin is the reference organisation and leader in the fight to eradicate obstetric fistula around the world, blazing a trail for holistic treatment and care that empowers women to reassert their humanity, secure their health and well-being, and regain their roles in their families and communities.

Established by Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation raises funds for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. We have one purpose and one purpose only: eradicating fistula. Forever.

Ensure future generations of Ethiopian women live free from obstetric fistula.

Leave a gift in your Will to continue Catherine’s journey.

The Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula

Imagine you are in labour, giving birth at home with no medical support. You are praying things will go well. They don’t. After four long days of excruciating obstructed labour, you give birth to a stillborn baby. On top of this grief, you find yourself unable to control your own body waste. 

This is the tragic reality for too many Ethiopian women. Obstetric fistula is a nightmare.

Empowering Women

Nothing shows the impact of our work better than the stories of women who have had their dignity and life restored, thanks to the support you give and the work we do to end obstetric fistula.

See the impact of your support…


women treated


Hamlin Midwives graduated


years of continuous service


Ethiopian team members

Towards a fistula-free Ethiopia

The Hamlin Model of Care

Dr Catherine Hamlin had unending love for Ethiopia’s women. Based on her core values, the Hamlin Model of Care is grounded in a fundamental respect for every patient and a commitment to provide complete and compassionate care.

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An obstetric fistula can usually be repaired with a single life-changing surgery, which can take as little as two hours for simple cases. Hamlin’s clinical team is globally renowned for their fistula-repair surgical technique and train surgeons from all over the world.


The key to a fistula-free Ethiopia, lies in preventative measures. The Hamlin College of Midwives trains and deploys midwives to work in remote areas of Ethiopia – preventing fistula injuries in the first place.


Fistula leaves physical and emotional scars. Surgical treatment at Hamlin is supplemented with physiotherapy and counselling to help recovering patients regain their physical and mental health.

The Hamlin Shop

Discover our gorgeous range of ethical gifts. When you make a purchase at the Hamlin Shop, you are supporting Fairtrade artisans and Ethiopian women with fistula.

Read our Hamlin Blog

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2023

On the International Day to Eradicate Obstetric Fistula, and every day, the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation remains determined to build a fistula-free world for every woman.

9 March, 2023

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Free physiotherapy for patients

The next chapter at Desta Mender

Catherine Hamlin’s Desta Mender, meaning ‘Joy Village’ in Amharic is looking ahead to the next chapter.

2 March, 2023

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Tigret and participants

Empowering former fistula patients and their communities

The Women’s Empowerment Program was established to create a complete healing process for women with fistula after much needed medical procedure at our fistula hospital.

2 March, 2023

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Doctors in surgery

Hamlin Impact Report: July- December 2022

A total of 1,662 life-changing surgeries were performed across Hamlin’s five regional fistula hospitals during the second half of 2022.

27 February, 2023

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Catherine and Reg

The romance of a lifetime

A job interview lead to Dr Catherine Nicholson meeting Dr Reginald Hamlin and the start of a life-changing romance.

13 February, 2023

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