Hayat: a Hamlin Midwife’s Journey
27 July, 2020
An outstanding student becomes an outstanding midwife
For Hayat Tesfaye, the Hamlin College of Midwives is more than just a place to study midwifery – it’s a place where young students grow and make memories to last a lifetime.
Hayat, a Hamlin midwife, recalls the four years she spent at the college fondly: “all of it was so special and memorable.”
Dr Catherine Hamlin established the Hamlin College of Midwives on the outskirts of Addis Ababa in 2007. The work of Hamlin midwives is crucial to achieving her vision of eradicating fistula in Ethiopia by 2030.
A framework for life
Hayat grew up in eastern Ethiopia, near the Harar Hamlin Fistula Hospital. She was offered one of the 20-25 scholarships given each year by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia to regional students who have achieved outstanding results in high school.
As Hayat studied her midwifery degree, she was able to apply her knowledge first-hand through numerous practical teaching sessions at Hamlin hospitals. Hamlin midwifery students are required to attend a minimum of 50 deliveries before they graduate; Hayat attended a whopping 97 births!
“I still miss my time at the College – the breathtaking site, the good friendships, the motherly care we received and above all, the outstanding teaching and learning method which is the foundation for the passion and confidence I have today. I would like to thank the Hamlin College of Midwives for framing my personality and professionalism so that I could serve the community I belong to with high quality care,” Hayat says.
Delivering Results in the Community
After completing her rigorous four-year degree Hayat graduated in 2011. Thereafter, Hayat and a fellow Hamlin graduate were assigned to a Hamlin supported Midwifery Clinic in Kurfachele, only 30km from her hometown in eastern Ethiopia. This understanding of local language and culture builds community trust and thus a better relationship between clinic and community.
The Kurfachele clinic now reports over 100 successful deliveries every month. These results are thanks to the full support package the clinic receives from Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia; prior to receiving this support, Kurfachele saw less than 30 deliveries per month.
According to Hayat, Hamlin graduates are distinguishable due to their superior knowledge and training from the Hamlin College of Midwives: “We, the Hamlin graduates, are now the preference of the community. This is because of the quality care that we deliver and the high-quality training we receive.”
The Hamlin College of Midwives is the bedrock of our preventative work to ensure that women don’t suffer a fistula injury while in labour. With over 70% of births in Ethiopia still occurring without a medical attendant, there’s a lot of work to be done before we can realise Dr Catherine Hamlin’s dream of a midwife for every woman. However, we now have 100 Hamlin midwives working across 80 clinics in remote areas. These midwives are preventing fistula and saving lives.
For Hayat, who is also raising a four-year-old daughter, saving lives is all in a day’s work as a Hamlin midwife.