Update on the Surgeon Training Program at Hamlin

Most people know Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia for the important, life-changing care they provide to fistula survivors. But did you know that every year medical practitioners from all around the world travel to Ethiopia to train under the guidance of Hamlin surgeons?

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is globally renowned for its surgical treatment techniques that Dr Catherine Hamlin pioneered. So far, 28 surgeons from around the globe have visited and trained at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to learn this acclaimed, world-best treatment.


Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia runs this training program in partnership with The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) as part of their Fistula Training Initiative. Since 2014, Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has operated as a FIGO training centre, where medical practitioners undergo FIGO’s Fistula Training Initiative and train under the guidance of Hamlin surgeons. As part of the initiative, each medical practitioner receives intensive individual training for six weeks, where they acquire the skills and knowledge to treat fistula injuries holistically, in line with the Hamlin Model of Care.

We are so pleased that two recent trainees of the initiative, Dr Kenny Raha and Dr Dieudonne Boengandi, work alongside Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Denis Mukwege. Earlier this month, Dr Mukwege and Ms Nadia Murad were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”.

Dr Mukwege is the Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital which he founded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Panzi Hospital is renowned worldwide for its service treating survivors of sexual violence and complex gynaecological injuries. It is also the hospital where Drs Raha and Boengandi are applying the skills and knowledge they acquired after training with Hamlin surgeons.

Hamlin’s partnership with FIGO is part of a global effort to eradicate fistula. The medical practitioners who train with Hamlin surgeons in Ethiopia take these pioneering surgical techniques to their home countries and treat fistula survivors across the globe – just as Drs Raha and Boengandi are applying these life-changing surgical techniques on women suffering a fistula in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

So far, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopian has trained medical practitioners from Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somali, Tanzania and Yemen.

Of the 52 surgeons that have undergone the FIGO Fistula Training Initiative, 28 have been trained Hamlin’s Addis Abba Fistula Hospital including Drs Raha and Boengandi.

Collectively these 52 FIGO surgeons have performed more than 6 000 fistula repair operations, treating thousands of women across 19 different countries. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is proud that the Hamlin Model of Care is reaching women with fistula beyond the borders of Ethiopia.


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