Transforming Lives, Thanks To You

transforming lives through fistula repair surgery

An obstetric fistula injury can often be repaired with a single, life-changing surgery. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Clinical Team has performed more than 60,000 fistula-repair surgeries – transforming more lives than any other fistula treatment facility in the world. Treatment and holistic care at Hamlin is provided free of charge to all patients, thanks to the generosity of supporters like you. Thank you. 

This year, Hamlin’s treatment impact has been extraordinary. In the 12 months from July 2020 to June 2021, a record-breaking 1,567 surgeries were performed across Hamlin’s six fistula hospitals.

That’s 1,567 women whose lives have been transformed and restored. However, our work is not over yet: there are still an estimated 31,000 women living with devastating fistula injuries in Ethiopia. Hamlin’s Patient Identification Program is systematically finding women with untreated fistula injuries, living in remote areas, and connecting them to life-saving treatment. 

Hamlin’s Clinical Team are continuing Dr Catherine Hamlin’s vision and are using their expertise to improve the wellbeing of Ethiopian women. Dr Wondwossen Ergete Woldeab is a senior urologist at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. He works primarily in urinary diversion surgery and ureteric implantation for lower urinary tracts that cannot be reconstructed. 

Dr Wondwossen specialises in reconstructive urology, transforming the lives of women who have more complex fistula cases, sometimes due to living with the condition for years or even decades. Dr Wondwossen is helping to heal the most severe injuries, giving women restored health for a new beginning. “I want to help women who have suffered while giving birth – decrease their suffering in any way I can… Because these diversion surgeries are the last resort to make a woman dry, I perform them with the utmost care and diligence,” says Dr Wondwossen. 

Dr Wondwossen and patient
Dr Wondwossen operating

A new beginning for three women

Three of the women Dr Wondwossen has treated are Zigiju, Tarekech and Mulu. 

Dr Wondwossen’s pioneering urinary diversion surgeries offer permanent solutions to women with complex fistula injuries. After their respective diversion surgeries, Zigiju, Tarekech and Mulu have had their severe bladder damage healed and are free from incontinence for the first time in years. 

For decades, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has been blazing a trail for best-practice fistula treatment and care. Hamlin’s Clinical Team are constantly driving to pioneer and further develop their surgical techniques to close fistula injuries. Dr Wondwossen is no exception. His specialised work ensures more Ethiopian women can be cured of incontinence and have their health and dignity restored. 

“In those 17 years with fistula I had been leading a horrible and desperate life. I lost my marriage, my home, my social life, my confidence, everything… Look at me now, I am the happiest woman in the world! Because of my diversion surgery, I have become completely dry after 17 years. I now walk around with dignity. I cannot thank you enough, all the staff and those who support this work,” rejoices Mulu. 

Transforming Lives - Zigiju
Transforming lives - Mulu
Transforming lives - Tarakech

The Hamlin Clinical Team’s work transforming lives is only possible thanks to the generosity of Hamlin supporters. You can help women like Mulu by donating here.

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