On January 24, Dr Catherine Hamlin celebrated her 93rd birthday. The sun shone as Catherine’s loyal staff threw her a birthday party in the garden of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. It was a day of celebration, laughter and cake eating!
Catherine has dedicated nearly 60 years of her life to the women of Ethiopia. When she and Reg first arrived in 1959, they had never seen an obstetric fistula case before – and there was little or no treatment available in Ethiopia. The fistula patients broke their hearts and they began to treat some of the most marginalised women in the world.
When Catherine was 18 she’d just started studying medicine at Sydney University. In 1974, aged 50, she opened the world’s first fistula hospital. Even throughout the most challenging times, her brave fistula patients have always remained the focus.
At 93, Catherine stills lives on the grounds of the fistula hospital. Today, she stands with her 550 staff members who service six hospitals, the Hamlin College of Midwives and our rehabilitation centre, Desta Mender. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is dramatically transforming the maternal healthcare landscape of Ethiopia.
Together, with your generous support, this team has restored the health and dignity of over 50,000 women.
Catherine – your life is truly a gift to others. Happy birthday.
There’s still time to celebrate Catherine’s birthday. Honour her by purchasing a gift from her birthday wish list, containing tax-deductible items relating to our three key areas of holistic care – prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Visit hamlin.org.au/birthday to donate. You can also leave a birthday message for Catherine.
Be part of something big and help Catherine achieve her dream.
Photo by Johannes Remling