New phase of Project Zero

The hugely successful pilot of Project Zero – Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s ground-breaking new program to accelerate eradication of obstetric fistula – concluded in October 2023.

In Ale Woreda (district), with an estimated population of 85,408 people, teams of Hamlin-trained community volunteers and some 343 health extension workers carried out a total of 14,664 house-to-house surveys in 24 weeks.

Most household members had not heard about obstetric fistula before and were eager to learn more about it.

Seven women with decades-long fistula injuries and 56 women with Advanced Stage Pelvic Organ Prolapse were identified and transported to Hamlin’s Metu Fistula Hospital for life-changing surgery.

Many of these women have lived in social isolation for decades. Every woman can access tailored counselling, literacy and numeracy classes and vocational and life skills training at Desta Mender to restore their dignity and confidence.

Using learnings from the pilot and with significant support from local and regional health bureau, the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the next phase of Project Zero began on 13 February 2024 in Didessa Woreda, with further rollouts throughout the year.

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