How you are helping to eradicate obstetric fistula from Ethiopia

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is relentless in ensuring childbirth injuries are prevented through an active program of recruiting the brightest students from rural areas, putting them through rigorous training as midwives, and then deploying them back to their villages where their skills are needed.

The Hamlin College of Midwives is a cornerstone of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia program – ensuring that women in Ethiopia have access to qualified midwives so they no longer suffer for days on end with an obstructed labour.

Midwives can be the difference between life and death.

Each year, around the world, more than 350,000 women die as a result of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. If midwives were in place and able to refer the most severe complications to specialised care, up to 90 percent of these deaths could be prevented, according to the International Confederation of Midwives.

Since 2007, 80 midwives have graduated from the Hamlin College of Midwives.

“My dream is for there to be a midwife in every village of Ethiopia.”
Dr Catherine Hamlin

The College is a centre of excellence for the training of midwives. The College curriculum meets the stringent standards of the International Confederation of Midwives, including the requirement that students conduct at least 40 deliveries before they graduate.

The downstream effects of Hamlin midwives are remarkable – when a Hamlin midwife arrives at a midwifery clinic, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero in nearby villages.

There are now 34 rural midwifery clinics staffed by Hamlin midwives, all of which have prevented hundreds of maternal and neonatal deaths.

Last year alone, Hamlin midwives delivered 13,734 babies and have saved many mothers from suffering devastating childbirth injuries.

This could not have happened without your support. Thank you.

Photo by Mary F. Calvert

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