Founded over 63 years ago, by pioneering Australian surgeon Dr Catherine Hamlin and her surgeon husband Dr Reg Hamlin, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is dedicated to treating Ethiopian women who have suffered the most horrific childbirth injury: obstetric fistula.
Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia comprises Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, five Hamlin regional fistula hospitals, the Hamlin College of Midwives, more than 90 Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics and the Hamlin Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre (Desta Mender).
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 well- being, and regain their roles in their families and communities.
The Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula and the Hope of Hamlin
One of the worst things that can happen to a woman or girl is an obstetric fistula, an internal injury caused by an obstructed labour during childbirth that leaves her incontinent and shunned by her community.
The Hamlin Team believe no woman should suffer the indignity of an obstetric fistula. Dr Catherine Hamlin’s dream was to end fistula forever – and with your support, we’re getting closer to making her dream a reality.
Watch Wubanchi’s story below from the pain of fistula to hope for a brighter future.
Our Three Program Areas
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia exists to ensure the health and dignity of women who have survived a horrendous, and preventable, childbirth injury: obstetric fistula.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is globally renowned for its fistula treatment technique. Developed by Dr Catherine Hamlin, this pioneering surgical technique has been recognised as a best practice in global health.
In most cases a fistula can be repaired with a single life-changing surgery that, for some, can take as little as two hours.
Rehabilitation & Reintegration Program
Over the past 63 years, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has restored the health and dignity of more than 60,000 Ethiopian women with obstetric fistula. Dr Catherine Hamlin always believed that treating a fistula patient isn’t just treating a hole in the bladder, but rather the whole woman with love and care.
That’s why she developed a Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia to further support women recovering from fistula injuries. The program embodies the Hamlin Model of Care and empowers women to live a life with independence and dignity.
To achieve Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s vision of eradicating obstetric fistula, we need more midwives in rural areas of Ethiopia. Midwives can identify pregnancy complications and prevent fistula injuries occurring in the first place.
That’s why in 2007 Dr Catherine Hamlin established the Hamlin College of Midwives – to increase access to quality healthcare across Ethiopia. The Hamlin College of Midwives is a centre of excellence for the training of midwives in Ethiopia.
Meet our Clinical and Program Team
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s team is 100% Ethiopian with almost 600 professionals – many of whom were trained by Dr Catherine Hamlin – working across the organisation to deliver the Hamlin Model of Care for women with obstetric fistula injuries. They continue Catherine and Reg’s vision and work. Click below to meet some members of our Treatment, Rehabilitation & Reintegration and Prevention teams.