Announcing the ‘Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care’

It is an exciting time. After successfully treating obstetric fistula in Ethiopia for almost 60 years, we’re taking Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s clinical skills, experience, and compassion to Uganda. Together with Terrewode the Hamlin team will develop a new specialist obstetric fistula treatment facility in Soroti, Uganda.

Make no mistake, we are firmly committed to Ethiopia and will continue supporting Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s prevention, treatment and rehabilitation work as usual. Dr Catherine Hamlin’s success in Ethiopia has encouraged the Hamlin team and its partners to help women in other parts of Africa who have not had access to the Hamlin Model of Care in eradicating obstetric fistula.

The model in Uganda will be as it is in Ethiopia: treating and rehabilitating each patient back to a life lived with dignity. It is a model that has worked well for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia for the past 60 years and we are confident that it will for the next 60 years.

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fundraising for this exciting new project. We are looking to people who share Catherine’s dream of eradicating fistulas forever to support this new frontier – to restore the lives of Ugandan women suffering with obstetric fistula.

Why Uganda?

We have chosen Uganda because there is a significant need. The Ugandan Government 2012-2016 National Obstetric Fistula Strategy estimated there are up to 200,000 Ugandan women suffering from obstetric fistula and about 1,900 new cases each year. Like many other countries, the number of hospitals in Uganda with space and capacity to treat obstetric fistula is low.

We have identified a strong partner to work with, Terrewode. 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.

Read Mirembe’s harrowing story here.



Why Terrewode?

Terrewode has a highly successful community based social rehabilitation and reintegration model that supports women to reintegrate into the community after suffering from this traumatic condition and provides them with the life skills to live a life of dignity.

Alice Emasu 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 serves.

Terrewode has already purchased the land and commenced the design process for the new hospital. They have 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. The hospital will include 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.

The model of treatment and care in Uganda will be as it is in Ethiopia: treating and rehabilitating patients back to a life with dignity.

Funds raised in Australia will initially support the capital funding for the construction and equipping of the new hospital in 2018. We are also committed to support the operating costs of the new hospital until at least the end of 2020, by which time the project should be fully operational and working at full capacity.


Products made by the women of Terrewode!

New to The Hamlin Shop is a fabulous range of jewellery, goats milk soap and handcrafts 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.

View the range

Timeline and Projections


How can you help?

You can help fund 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.

Donate now

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