Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is relentless in ensuring childbirth injuries are prevented through an active program of recruiting the brightest students from rural areas, putting them through rigorous training as midwives, and then deploying them back to their villages where their skills are needed.
This is a cornerstone of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia program – ensuring that women in Ethiopia have access to qualified midwives so they no longer suffer for days on end in obstructed labour.
The Hamlin College of Midwives
Since 2007, 105 midwives have graduated from the Hamlin College of Midwives.
The Hamlin College of Midwives is a centre of excellence for the training of midwives. The College curriculum meets the stringent standards of the International Confederation of Midwives, including the precondition that students conduct at least 40 deliveries before they graduate.
The downstream effects of a Hamlin midwife are remarkable – when a Hamlin midwife arrives at a midwifery clinic, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero in nearby villages.
There are now 34 rural midwifery clinics staffed by Hamlin midwives.
Over the past three years Hamlin midwives have delivered over 40,000 babies and saved many mothers from suffering devastating childbirth injuries.
These clinics have also prevented hundreds of maternal and neonatal deaths.
The importance of these health professionals cannot be overemphasised: each year, more than 350,000 women around the world die as a result of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. If midwives were present during birth, up to 90 percent of these deaths could be prevented, according to the International Confederation of Midwives.
A midwife can be the difference between life and death.
Two graduates of the Hamlin College of Midwives, Mawerdi and Seada (pictured), work in Jarso health centre in rural Ethiopia. Since their arrival in 2011, both midwives have been integral in starting a community education program, which has seen deliveries at the health centre increase from 50 per year to a staggering 1,000.
Hear more about their life-saving work in the video below.