The Hamlin Prevention Program continued to see success in 2019 with Hamlin midwives in particular making an enormous impact on the Ethiopian maternal healthcare landscape. Training midwives is essential to achieving Dr Catherine Hamlin’s goal of eradicating fistula forever.
Given that just 3 in 10 women in Ethiopia have access to medical care during their pregnancy, midwives are needed more than ever to identify pregnancy complications and ensure that women no longer have to suffer an obstructed labour with no medical care.
Training Ethiopia’s future midwives
The Hamlin prevention program focuses on two main activities: training midwives and deploying them into rural health centres to help fill critical shortages across the country. Young female students from high schools in rural Ethiopia are recruited to study a four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery at the Hamlin College of Midwives, after which they return to provide vital services to their villages.
Since its inception in 2007, the Hamlin College of Midwives has seen 170 students graduate, with 25 graduating in July 2019. These exceptional midwifery graduates have been deployed to 66 Hamlin-supported health centres across the country, sharing their skills and knowledge with women most in need.
In 2019 Hamlin midwives:
~ Successfully delivered 30,004 babies.
~ Saw 47,681 women for their first antenatal check.
~ Provided ultrasound scans to 2,387 pregnant women.
~ Helped 145,078 women with their family planning goals.
The impact of a Hamlin midwife is remarkable – when a midwife arrives at a clinic, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero in nearby villages. Over the past three years Hamlin midwives have delivered over 70,000 babies and saved many mothers from suffering an obstetric fistula.
New Master’s Degree in Clinical Midwifery
The Hamlin College of Midwives is thrilled to announce that final preparations are underway to launch a new Postgraduate Master of Science Degree in Clinical Midwifery. This program, which has been in development for over three years, will complement the current four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, increasing the number and skill level of midwives and significantly up-scaling Hamlin’s prevention strategy.
Students of this program will graduate with the skills and confidence to perform and manage intra-operative and post-operative complications as well as the ability to teach in undergraduate midwifery training programs. The Neilson Foundation has generously supported two full student scholarships.
Supporting health centres across Ethiopia
Finally, the Hamlin Prevention Program has been strengthened in 2019 by support provided by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia to government-run partner health centres. Thanks to the incredible generosity of donors across the world, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has been able to contribute to the construction of a new health centre and the renovation of 7 others. In addition, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has been able to provide key medical equipment including blood pressure pumps and portable ultrasound machines. The ultrasound machines, 14 of which were provided by IMC Financial Markets in Sydney, have enabled Hamlin midwives to scan patients in remote parts of Ethiopia, leading to improved detection of potential complications. Read more about this game-changing project here.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is proud of the important progress that has been made in 2019 in the prevention of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. We look forward to what 2020 and the new Master’s program will bring in the fight to eradicate fistula!
Author: Natalie Stals, medical student interning at Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation