The project focuses on improving access to treat fistula and uterine prolapse, and screening and referral of cervical cancer cases
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (HFE), where over 60 thousand women received free, holistic and quality service since its establishment in 1974, is a center of excellence in the treatment of obstetric fistula across the globe. It owns well equipped and strategically located six hospitals in Ethiopia staffed with experienced surgeons, nurses and nurse aids as well as supportive staff. All these facts make HFE the most preferred organization to partner with for many firms working on the same cause, including UNFPA.
Speaking on the project kick-off meeting held on September 17, 2019 in Addis Abeba, Ato Tesfaye Mamo, HFE CEO, forwarded his thankfulness to UNFPA Ethiopia for choosing and trusting Hamlin for the success of the project, and said, “This project means a lot to us. We know well on how to care and treat our patients but identifying them remains a big challenge over the years. With this project, through massive and collaborative patient identification work, we will be able to address the unreached women across the nation and meet our goal of making obstetric fistula no more a public health problem in Ethiopia.”
HFE’s Planning and Program Manager, Dr Demissew Beyene, also made a brief presentation on the overall project, highlighting that the project focuses on improving the accessibility of quality services to women with childbirth injuries. “HFE’s major role in the project, which runs from 2019 through 2022, will be providing our renowned quality treatment for 3000 women with fistula and uterine prolapse in our six treatment centers. UNFPA and health care workers in the seven target regions of the project will identify and present patients to HFE’s centers for treatment,” Dr. Demissew further explained.
Representing UNFPA Ethiopia, Mrs Bethlehem Kebede, Program Specialist, Gender and Human Rights, also spoke during the meeting. “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a fistula survivor enjoying coffee ceremony with her family and neighbors. UNFPA is so proud to jointly launch this program with HFE, and I’m very much hopeful that we realize this project with the full support of all our stakeholders,” she said.
The kick-off meeting was attended by all stakeholders, including from regional health bureaus, local NGOs and associations, and HFE’s fistula surgeons, center heads and management team members, among others.