Ms Konjit Kassahun is Dean of the Hamlin College of Midwives & Prevention Manager
Now responsible for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s prevention strategy nationally, Konjit joined Hamlin in 2005 and held various clinical roles including serving four years as Matron of Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Konjit holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a Master’s in Social Psychology from Addis Ababa University.
Konjit is a passionate advocate for both current students and graduates and is working to expand the prevention program and ensure all Hamlin midwives have the support they need to undertake their important work. An experienced and esteemed senior nurse, Matron Konjit has been a key member of Hamlin’s Clinical Team for 16 years.
A career dedicated to women in need
In 1993, Matron Konjit graduated from the Centralised School of Nursing – what is now the Addis Ababa University’s School of Nursing – with a Diploma in Nursing. After working at a number of hospitals as a junior nurse, and Vice Matron, Konjit and her family moved to Addis Ababa where she worked in a blood bank for the Ethiopian Red Cross and an HIV organisation.
“I feel very much happy that I am working at Hamlin Fistula, a pioneer in providing care and support for women who are suffering from preventable birth injuries. I feel proud to be part of such an organisation that has provided the utmost care for more than 60,000 Ethiopian women.
“The work that is being done is more than words can explain, which can be seen in the way the mothers feel towards the hospital and everyone attached to it. It is as if the hospital is giving them back their life, their dignity, and their status as a fellow human being. Who would not be happy to restore a woman’s health and dignity?” reflects Matron Konjit.
Matron Konjit joined Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia on 17 February, 2005. Since then, she has worked in various departments within the hospital, including the Outpatient Department, Inpatient Department, and the operating theatre.
In June 2019, Konjit was named as Matron of Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, where she was responsible for overseeing the care of patients, with special regard to the integration aspect of patient care. Her job, as she describes it, was to “ensure that patients’ needs were met as much as possible, that they were satisfied and felt at home during their stay in our hospital.”
Following the Hamlins’ footsteps
“It is beyond words to express about the Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin. They both have dedicated their lives and their family to the Ethiopian women. And the legacy they have left is tremendous. The well-functioning hospital, the many thousands of women who are treated with love, respect and compassion. The midwifery college established by Dr Catherine Hamlin, the knowledge and skill they have transferred to the Ethiopian doctors and so on.”
Working to a brighter future
Self-improvement and professional development have been constants in Matron Konjit’s career. Committed to using best-practice methods of care, Matron Konjit completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2008, and completed a Master’s in Social Psychology at the Addis Ababa University. “My number one career goal is to become more of an expert in my field. To achieve more infection control measures and maintain the work environment,” says Matron Konjit.
While significant barriers to maternal health in Ethiopia remain, Matron Konjit is hopeful for the future. Reflecting on her hopes for future generations of Ethiopian women, she said “I am hoping to see women empowered, free of all obstetric and maternity-related morbidity and mortality.”
Click here to learn more about the amazing people who make up Hamlin’s Clinical Team and are restoring the lives of fistula patients.