It’s almost unthinkable for us, here in Australia, to imagine giving birth without a skilled midwife by our side. A trusted companion, she supports us during what can sometimes be a long and difficult birth, then cares for us and our babies in the weeks that follow.
But imagine going into labour in a remote Ethiopian village without anyone to help you. Heartbreakingly, your baby does not survive and you sustain an obstetric fistula injury, leaving you incontinent. A life of trauma, shame and isolation that could last for years, sometimes decades, awaits you.
Over 80% of Ethiopia’s population lives in rural areas and approximately half of women experience childbirth without the help of a doctor or nurse. Consequently, devastating, yet preventable, childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula occur all too often.
That’s why Hamlin midwives working in Hamlin-supported rural midwifery clinics are so vital.
Dr Catherine Hamlin knew that the key to eradicating fistula was to prevent it. Catherine opened the Hamlin College of Midwives in 2007 to train women from remote areas in life-saving midwifery skills.
“The work of the hospitals is important, but it is more important to prevent fistula in the first instance and our midwives can achieve this. My vision is for there to be a midwife in every village of Ethiopia.” – Dr Catherine Hamlin
Supporting Catherine’s vision
Each student is carefully recruited from a rural area that urgently needs maternal healthcare. She completes a 4-year Bachelor of Science Midwifery degree and, after graduating, she returns home to work in a rural Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic where she is known and speaks the local language. Dagmawit is one the Hamlin College of Midwives graduates.
Despite the many challenges of working in a remote setting, Dagmawit believes that the exceptional training she received at the Hamlin College of Midwives has helped her succeed.
“My training at Hamlin was very good. The community needs Hamlin midwives because we are equipped with the skills and knowledge to serve mothers.” – Dagmawit
Dagmawit ensures many mothers have a safe birth
Dagmawit delivers an average of 25 babies a week. Last year, Hamlin Midwives delivered over 22,000 babies – without a single case of fistula.
Every woman, regardless of where she lives, deserves the skills and compassion of a skilled midwife like Dagmawit.
“Hamlin midwives are competent in everything. They are capable to serve mothers. I want to thank our Australian supporters for their support. Please keep on supporting us.” says Dagmawit.
Will you give a generous gift of this Christmas, to recruit, train and deploy more Hamlin midwives so women in rural areas can give birth safely? Donate here.