Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and UNFPA Ethiopia have recently formed a partnership to combine efforts to improve maternal health outcomes for Ethiopian women living with untreated fistula injuries.
The three-year joint project will focus on improving access to fistula and uterine prolapse treatment for Ethiopian women and also reaching more women for screening and referral of cervical cancer.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia – a favoured partner
Since its establishment by Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin in 1974, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has become a globally acclaimed centre of excellence for the treatment of obstetric fistula, and has provided over 60,000 women with holistic and quality treatment free of charge. The Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia healthcare network, encompassing the famous Hospital by the River and five other strategically located regional hospitals, takes pride in its exceptional team of experienced surgeons, midwives, nurses, supportive staff and this partnership.
Identifying more fistula patients
Addressing the project launch meeting on September 17th of this year in Addis Ababa, Ato Tesfaye Mamo, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia CEO, thanked UNFPA Ethiopia for their partnership. Tesfaye also outlined how the project will reach more women in Ethiopia, declaring “this project means a lot to us. We know well how to care and treat our patients but identifying them remains a big challenge over the years. With this project, through collaborative patient identification work, we will be able to address the unreached women across the nation and meet our goal of making obstetric fistula no more a public health problem in Ethiopia.”
Improving access for sufferers of fistula and uterine prolapse
Dr Demissew Beyene, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Planning and Program Manager, also made a brief presentation at the launch meeting, highlighting that the project will focus on improving the accessibility of quality services to women with childbirth injuries. The project will also expand efforts beyond fistula, seeking to identify and treat women who have suffered uterine prolapse. In Dr Beyene’s words “HFE’s major role in the project, which runs from 2019 through 2022, will be providing our renowned quality treatment for 3000 women with fistula and uterine prolapse in our six treatment centres. UNFPA and health care workers in the seven target regions of the project will identify and present patients to HFE’s centres for treatment.”
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and UNFPA together rebuilding lives
Representing UNFPA Ethiopia, Mrs Bethlehem Kebede, Program Specialist in Gender and Human Rights, spoke of UNFPA’s pride in working with Hamlin, stating “there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a fistula survivor enjoying coffee ceremony with her family and neighbours. UNFPA is so proud to jointly launch this program with HFE, and I’m hopeful that we realize this project with the full support of all our stakeholders.”
The launch was well-attended with regional health bureaus, local NGOs and associations, and Hamlin fistula surgeons, centre heads and management team members, all coming to hear about the project’s aims and agenda.
The team at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia are excited about the potential of this partnership to build our capacity and reach more women who are greatly in need.
You too can help improve the lives of Ethiopian women by donating to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia today.
Adapted from an original post by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia – see here.