A new partnership and a new challenge
After successfully treating obstetric fistula in Ethiopia for 60 years, we’re now working hard to reach women living with obstetric fistula in Uganda. Together with our partner, Terrewode, we are helping to establish a new specialist obstetric fistula treatment facility in Soroti, Uganda – the ‘Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care’.
We remain firmly committed to Ethiopia and will continue supporting Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s life changing work as usual. The success of Dr Catherine Hamlin and her team in Ethiopia has encouraged the Hamlin team to expand their support for women with fistula in other parts of Africa who suffer appallingly and have little or no access to medical care.
Our approach in Uganda will mirror what has worked so well in Ethiopia. Each woman will be treated and rehabilitated back to a life of independence and dignity.
Join the movement of people who are determined to eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever. Help us establish a new front against this degrading, preventable condition.
It is estimated that as many as 200,000 Ugandan women suffer from obstetric fistula. Just as tragically, there are 1,900 new cases each year. That means every week in Uganda 36 women suffer this terrible, preventable injury. There are very few hospitals in Uganda with the space and capacity to treat obstetric fistula.
Read Mirembe’s harrowing story here.
We have identified a strong partner to work with in Uganda. Terrewode is a community-based organisation founded and run by Alice Emasu, a local women’s rights advocate. Terrewode’s values are based on a woman’s fundamental right to quality health care. Terrewode has worked with obstetric fistula survivors in Uganda since 1999.
Alice first met Dr Catherine Hamlin many years ago. Alice has worked hard to replicate Catherine’s compassion, respect and care in Terrewode’s programs and she is committed to bringing the full Hamlin model of care to the women Terrewode helps.
Terrewode has a robust governance and management structure that will expand to develop the capacity of the new hospital.
Replicating the Hamlin Model of Care
Together we are working with partners to establish the ‘Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care’. Construction commenced in March 2018 and we are thrilled to report that it is now complete! The hospital includes a fistula treatment centre and a rehabilitation centre.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia will provide leadership in clinical excellence, training and capacity building for the Terrewode medical team. This will include extensive training at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital prior to opening the new hospital and supportive supervision during the start up stages of the hospital.
Funds raised in Australia initially supported the capital funding for the construction of the new hospital and now they will fund the fit-out. We are also contributing to the operating costs of the new hospital until the end of 2020, by which time the facility will be fully operational and working at full capacity. Surgery will commence in June 2019 and by the end of 2019, 200 women are anticipated to receive life-changing fistula surgery!
Products made by the women of Terrewode.
New to The Hamlin Shop is a fabulous range of jewellery made by women who are recovering from fistula surgery. They learn skills that will help them restart their lives, create an income stream and help them reintegrate into their community.
By purchasing these handmade items, you will support and empower the women of Uganda.
Timeline and Projections
• Pre-construction stage is complete. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia worked with Terrewode and the project architects to develop plans for this purpose-built obstetric fistula facility in Soroti, Uganda.
Construction and Recruitment
• Construction commenced in March 2018 and continued throughout 2018.
• The Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care includes a 30-bed fistula surgical treatment block and a 30-bed reintegration and rehabilitation block.
• The hospital includes physiotherapy, a laboratory, a pharmacy and urodynamics, with support spaces such as a kitchen, a laundry, administration and staff accommodation.
• The buildings and surrounding gardens will support the Hamlin Model of Care by creating a patient-friendly healing environment for social rehabilitation and reintegration.
• In September, recruitment of the core clinical team began.
Fit-out and Training
• In January 2019, construction was completed and the training of clinical staff begun. This training includes intensive six-week training blocks at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia prior to opening the new hospital and supportive supervision during the start-up of the hospital.
• Fit-out of the hospital will be completed by June 2019 and the hospital will begin treating Ugandan women and girls.
Treatment Target – 200 patients in 2019
• Under supportive supervision of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia clinical team, the 'Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care' will begin treating women and girls suffering from obstetric fistula and other child birth complications.
• By the end of 2019, 200 Ugandan women are anticipated to receive life-changing fistula surgery.
• Services to be provided will be the same as Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is providing in Ethiopia:
- Pre-surgery treatment and counselling
- Surgical treatment
- Post-surgery rehabilitation including physiotherapy and psycho social support and counselling
- Social reintegration including life skills training and social enterprise initiatives
• Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation donors will support treatment and social reintegration of patients.
Treatment Target – capacity 600 patients per year
• Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia will continue to support capacity building and training of clinical staff.
• The 'Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care', will become a fully operational world-class facility providing high quality services for the women of Uganda.
How can you help?
We are so grateful to B B & A Miller Foundation and The Neilson Foundation for the early support they’ve provided to get this project off the ground.
Please join them and help us completely set up this new specialist obstetric fistula treatment facility in Uganda by making a tax-deductible donation today. By helping the development of the Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care, you are supporting Dr Catherine Hamlin’s vision of eradicating fistula forever.