Too many women in rural and remote Ethiopia still don’t have access to adequate maternal medical care. This results in preventable obstetric fistula injuries that have devastating consequences for women. Dr Catherine Hamlin’s dream was to change this.
Catherine opened the Hamlin College of Midwives in 2007. Since then, 195 Hamlin Midwives have graduated and are making a significant impact in rural communities: drastically reducing rates of fistula and providing quality maternal health care. There are another 95 women currently completing their Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degree at the College.
My work and that of the hospitals is important, but it is more important to prevent fistula in the first instance and our midwives can achieve this. My dream is for there to be a midwife in every village of Ethiopia.
– Dr Catherine Hamlin
A life-changing force in Ethiopia
“The high-quality training we receive at the College and the exceptional clinical placements we had, make us proud and confident professionals. Wherever we go, we can easily win the trust of the community and take a leading position in the community’s maternal health care,” Hamlin Midwife, Tizita says.
Hamlin Midwives are a life-changing force in their communities. Tizita has been working at the Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic in Kurfa Chele since 2018. She is the only professional midwife in her community, often called to help women in labour with life-threatening complications. Learn more about her story here.
30 years of needless suffering
After labouring for days without a midwife, Bijige became unconscious and was taken to the nearest health clinic, where nurses were able to save her life – but her baby was stillborn and she was left with a childbirth injury. After this tragedy, Bijige lived a lonely and withdrawn life for more than three decades – until she learnt of Hamlin.
Bijige’s life would be very different if she had access to a Hamlin Midwife during her labour. Too many women suffer needlessly because of fistula. This childbirth injury can be eradicated through highly-trained midwives providing life-saving care.
A centre of excellence
The Hamlin College of Midwives is a centre of excellence for the training of midwives. The curriculum meets the stringent standards of the International Confederation of Midwives, including the precondition that students conduct at least 40 deliveries before they graduate.
Each student undertakes a four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degree and commits to working as a Hamlin Midwife for a minimum of four years following their graduation. Each student is on a full Hamlin scholarship, which includes tuition and full board. All scholarships are funded by generous donors like you. You can find out more about the Hamlin curriculum here.
Hamlin Midwives have the power to change lives
To give women in rural villages access to quality maternity care, local health clinics need more trained midwives. Hamlin Midwives provide support to more than 50 midwifery clinics in rural towns across Ethiopia.
In FY2020, Hamlin Midwives delivered 22,344 babies without a single case of fistula occurring. When a Hamlin Midwife arrives in a community, new cases of fistula drop to virtually zero in nearby villages.