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What We Do

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation has one purpose and one purpose only: eradicating fistula. Forever.

Dr Catherine Hamlin’s goal was to eradicate obstetric fistula forever, so that every woman can be free from this atrocious childbirth injury. No other woman, or man, has done as much to eradicate this preventable, crippling condition and give these women back their lives. Founded more than 60 years ago, by pioneering Australian Dr Catherine Hamlin and her husband Dr Reg Hamlin, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has treated more than 60,000 women. While enormous progress has been made, it is estimated up to 31,000 Ethiopian women still live with an untreated obstetric fistula injury. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is working hard to locate them in remote areas of the country and repair their injuries. In addition, each year approximately 1,000new fistula cases occur in Ethiopia. Our goal is to increase life-changing surgeries at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia from 60,000 to 100,000 and eradicate fistula from Ethiopia once and for all.

Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia comprises Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, fiveHamlin regional fistula hospitals, the Hamlin College of Midwives, more than 90Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics, and the Hamlin Rehabilitation and ReintegrationCentre (Desta Mender). Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is fully staffed by over 550 Ethiopiansprofessionals – many of whom were trained by Catherine – and who today continue her work. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia remains the reference organisation and leader in the fight to eradicate obstetric fistula around the world, blazing a trail for holistic treatment and care that empowers women to reassert their humanity, secure their health and wellbeing, and regain their roles in their families and communities.

Eradicating fistula. Forever.

We believe no woman should suffer the pain and indignity of a preventable childbirth injury.

The Hamlin Model of Care

The Hamlin Model of Care is grounded in a fundamental respect for the patient and a commitment to provide complete and compassionate care. Based on Dr Catherine Hamlin’s values, the model remains a core part of the organisation today.

Treatment

Dr Catherine Hamlin was a pioneer in treating obstetric fistula and Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is globally renowned for its treatment technique. Over 60,000 Ethiopian women with obstetric fistula injuries have had their lives transformed by Hamlin’s clinical team, under the Hamlin Model of Care.

Prevention

Dr Catherine Hamlin’s fight to end fistula saw her lead a program of prevention throughout Ethiopia. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia recruits students from rural areas, puts them through rigorous training as midwives, and deploys them back to their villages where their skills are desperately needed. Hamlin Midwives prevent obstetric fistula and save lives. 

Rehabilitation and Reintegration

Dr Catherine Hamlin always believed that treating a fistula patient isn’t just treating a hole in the bladder, but rather the whole patient. Beyond the emotional and physical mending of scars, each patient is given a customised rehabilitation plan. Women are empowered to thrive beyond the darkness of fistula – with hope, health and independence.

Empowering Women

Nothing shows the impact of our work better than the stories of women who have had their dignity and life restored, thanks to the support you give and the work we do to end obstetric fistula.