Hamlin midwives are saving lives
April 16, 2018
Welcome to the Burussa Health Centre, home to a Hamlin Midwifery Clinic. Located in Yayo, a small, rural village in south-west Ethiopia, this clinic provides high quality maternal care for the thousands of women in the region.
Burussa is a government health centre supported by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. When it was established in 2008, just four deliveries were being performed each month due to a lack of skilled birth attendants and medical equipment.
Four years later Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia set up a Hamlin Midwifery Clinic in the centre. Since then, the number of monthly deliveries has increased from four to 45. The delivery room was renovated, essential medical supplies were sourced and two Hamlin midwives were deployed to work in the clinic – and what a difference this made!
Meet Hamlin midwife, Martha
One of these Hamlin midwives is Sister Martha. After completing her studies at the Hamlin College of Midwives, Martha now provides essential maternal care services to the village she was born and raised in. At 26, Sister Martha has been at the clinic since it opened and is now the senior midwife.
Sister Martha is one of the 125 graduates from the Hamlin College of Midwives, which was established in 2007 by Dr Catherine Hamlin. Each student receives a full Hamlin scholarship, enabling them to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Midwifery. Graduates commit to working as a Hamlin midwife for four years after their four-year degree. Many, like Martha, stay on beyond this requirement.
“I am so happy that I’m involved in providing such positive change in serving my own community, and that’s why I decided to stay beyond my initial deployment. I still have no plans of leaving the clinic. Thank you for supporting my studies and making me such a skilled midwife.” said Martha.
The impact of Hamlin midwives
Hamlin midwives are strategically deployed to their local area because they can speak the local language and are familiar with traditional customs. They are able to develop a strong sense of rapport and professional trust amongst their community.
“Through the continuous valuable support of Hamlin so far, we have made a difference not only in preventing obstetric fistula but also improving maternal healthcare generally at the clinic. Both the community and the government recognise this, and now we have their trust as well.” said Martha
When a Hamlin midwife arrives at a midwifery clinic, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero. Over the past three years Hamlin midwives have delivered over 40,000 babies and saved many mothers from suffering an obstetric fistula.
Burussa is one of 14 government health centres in this particular region supported by Hamlin’s Mettu Fistula Hospital, 20 kilometres away.
Since the Hamlin Midwifery Clinic at Burussa was established, in 2012, the number of monthly delivers has increased tenfold. This is largely due to the incredible work of the midwives like Sister Martha, but also you, our supporters, who make this work possible and allow us to provide high quality care to mothers in rural communities. Thank you.
Prevention is the key to ending fistula and it is Dr Catherine Hamlin’s dream to have a midwife in every village of Ethiopia to allow this to happen.
Read more about Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s prevention work here.
Together we will eradicate fistula. Forever.