Dr Catherine Hamlin has worked for almost 60 years to eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. She established the Hamlin College of Midwives in 2007 because she knew the only way to prevent childbirth injuries occurring in the first place was to ensure that mother’s-to-be had access to midwives.
Ninety two students are currently studying at the Hamlin College of Midwives. In September, 25 new students recruited from four regions commenced their degrees at the College. Full scholarships for these students have been provided by generous Australian donors.
Our midwives are a cornerstone of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia program. When women in Ethiopia have access to qualified midwives they no longer suffer for days on end with an obstructed labour. Currently, 85 percent of births in Ethiopia still take place without a skilled birth attendant present.
There are now 34 rural midwifery clinics staffed by Hamlin midwives. The downstream effects of a Hamlin midwife are remarkable – when a Hamlin midwife arrives, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero in nearby villages.
Photo by Joni Kabana