Project Zero, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s most ambitious program in decades, will finally make Ethiopia obstetric fistula-free – woreda (district) by woreda.
Pilot program is complete
The pilot in Ale Woreda (district) in south-western Ethiopia concluded in October with encouraging results.
In just one woreda, Hamlin-trained teams carried out 14,664 house-to-house surveys and identified 7 women with decades-long fistula injuries who have been successfully treated.
Using learnings from the pilot, Project Zero will be rolled out to another three woredas in the first six months of 2024.
Empowering women after fistula
Project Zero is finding women who have suffered with fistula for years, even decades. Many have lived in social isolation and been shunned and humiliated by their communities and even their own families.
A core part of restoring a woman’s dignity and emotional wellbeing after the trauma of fistula is rebuilding their confidence through new skills so they can earn an income and live independently.
Every woman with a long-term or complex injury who is found by the Project Zero team is able to access tailored counselling, literacy and numeracy classes, vocational and life skills training at Desta Mender.
Expanding care for rural communities
Project Zero is also strengthening maternal healthcare services within Ethiopia to reduce the incidence of birth injuries.
The goal is to establish a midwifery clinic in every woreda, staffed by Hamlin Midwives. A national education campaign is giving women the tools and knowledge they need to give birth safely.
The new app, M-HIT (Maternal Health Improvement Tool) is being used by Hamlin Midwives to monitor pregnant women and escalate care for those at risk.