Celebrating 60 years dedicated to the women of Ethiopia.

On Wednesday 29th May, staff, friends, patients and distinguished guests gathered at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to celebrate and honour Dr Catherine Hamlin and her late husband, Dr Reg Hamlin.

Listen below to the special video message from Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization, to Dr Catherine Hamlin.

60th Annivesary Celebrations

An award from the Prime Minister

As the guest of honour, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave a moving speech recognising Catherine’s great impact on Ethiopia and presented her with a prestigious citizenship award on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia for her tireless contribution. The Prime Minister then unveiled a large statue of Catherine and Reg.

Medals of service

As well as honouring the lifelong contribution of Catherine, the celebration also recognised the service of long-term staff members at the hospital. Towards the end of the ceremony, staff members who had been at the hospital for over 40 years were presented a medal of service.

Among these recipients were Mamitu and Lete, former fistula sufferers who have dedicated their life after surgery to the fellow patients at the hospital. They have been by Catherine’s side for decades and see her as their Emaye, Mother.

60th Annivesary Celebrations
60th Annivesary Celebrations

I feel so much love here in this compound today. Thank you all for being with me all these years. I love you all, I love Ethiopia and I have loved every day here.

– Dr Catherine Hamlin

1959 – 2019

When Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin arrived in Ethiopia in 1959, they intended to stay for three years. However, they decided to remain in Ethiopia and continue treating those who needed them most, the thousands of women suffering from obstetric fistula. This was a turning point for maternal health in the country.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia began with two committed, pioneering surgeons. Now in 2019, Catherine’s team of 550 dedicated staff members provide every patient with a customised program of treatment, nutrition, physiotherapy and counselling. Every patient leaves Hamlin with a vastly improved quality of life. Today, the Hamlin team has treated over 60,000 women with fistula injuries.

60th Annivesary Celebrations
60th Annivesary Celebrations

How you can help…

Help finish what Catherine and Reg started in 1959. It costs $700 to fund one standard fistula operation in a Hamlin regional hospital, restoring a woman’s life. $120 could fund pre-operative care for one woman or $50 could fund physiotherapy for a woman during her stay.

Your gift this tax-time will help us achieve Catherine’s dream of eradicating fistula in Ethiopia by 2030.


Donate now