Celebrating – and Continuing – Catherine Hamlin’s Life’s Work
15 April, 2021
A message from Carolyn Hardy; Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation:
As we celebrated Dr Catherine Hamlin’s extraordinary life last month, we reflected on the many measures of her incredible impact over the past six decades. The most important is the 60,000 women’s lives transformed by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and the declining rate of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. However, it is estimated that up to 31,000 women across Ethiopia still suffer with a fistula injury and new fistulas continue to occur. Hamlin’s medical team is determined to find and treat these women and increase the number of women’s lives transformed by Hamlin to 100,000.
In January, Hamlin’s bold new Patient Identification Program recommenced. Outreach is gaining pace and Hamlin’s medical team performed a record number of surgeries in January and February. Activity at Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre, Desta Mender, is picking up again too, providing economic empowerment to women via vocational training. In February, 72 patients were enrolled in education and handicraft classes. You can buy their handmade wraps and scarves from the Hamlin Shop in Australia (store.hamlin.org.au). Proceeds from each purchase go back to the
woman who made it.
Lectures at the Hamlin College of Midwives are going smoothly with all students back on site at the College after a difficult year in 2020 which saw COVID-19 related closures and remote learning. Recruitment of 30 new students from the Afar region and the Somali border of Ethiopia is also underway for the next academic year – an important expansion of Hamlin’s midwifery outreach program to prevent obstetric fistula injuries and increase maternal health care in remote areas.
This year is shaping up to be a year of significant impact at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. We are thrilled with the progress being made. Your ongoing support and generosity makes this work possible. Whether you are a regular donor, part of a community group or a Hamlin Shop patron, you are making an important contribution. Thank you.
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation