Hamlin’s Treatment Program: 2019

2019 has been a year of notable progress for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Over the past year Hamlin Fistula hospitals have continued to treat the brave and beautiful women of Ethiopia with great success.

Treatment at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia – the Hamlin Model of Care

Dr Catherine Hamlin’s mission of eradicating obstetric fistula forever can only be made possible through the treatment of women currently suffering with this devastating condition and the prevention of further childbirth injuries.

Treatment at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, and the five other Hamlin regional hospitals, follows the Hamlin Model of Care – an approach grounded in the fundamental respect for women who suffer this condition and the commitment to providing complete and compassionate care. This model ensures that women not only receive best-practice surgery for their childbirth injuries but are also offered counselling, physiotherapy and essential life skills training, allowing them to successfully rebuild their lives.

Read more inspiring stories of rehabilitation and reintegration here.

Doctors, nurses and midwives come to Hamlin for world-renowned training

This past year has seen the initiation of a subspecialty fellowship training program in urogynecology at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in collaboration with Mekelle University, Saint Paul’s Hospital Millennium College and the World Fistula Fund. Four Hamlin surgeons and one doctor from Mekelle University are currently in training.

In addition, alongside the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has provided a training program on fistula surgery and care to doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. In 2019, this included 1 doctor and 1 midwife from Afghanistan and 1 doctor, nurse and physiotherapist from Somalia. This will ensure that the outstanding skills of Hamlin healthcare workers are applied in the treatment of women far beyond Ethiopia.

Moreover, as well as providing training on surgery, Hamlin surgeons have been conducting research on childbirth injuries, with seven projects currently in progress. Such research is vital for the continued improvement of treatment techniques.

Treatment in 2019 at a glance

Over the past year:

~ 6,077 extraordinary patients were treated at Hamlin hospitals across Ethiopia.
~ 1,900 underwent surgery.
~ 1,000 fistula surgeries were performed – although fistula injuries can often be repaired with a simple 60-minute operation, many patients who present with more complicated injuries will require multiple surgeries.
~ 360 minor procedures were performed.
~ 90 women had Caesarean births.
~ 454 prolapse surgeries were undertaken.

The Hamlin team has successfully treated over 60,000 women suffering obstetric fistulas in Ethiopia over the past 60 years.

This has only been possible thanks to the generosity of supporters all over the world. Learn more about how you can support this life-changing treatment.

Author: Natalie Stals, medical student interning at Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation 

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