The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has become known as a global center of excellence in fistula surgery. By 2014, word of Dr Catherine Hamlin’s work and the need to eradicate obstetric fistula had spread – in particular, the Hamlins' work in training Ethiopians to become best-practice surgeons. Recognizing the excellent care and surgical practice maintained at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) partnered with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia as part of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative.
Hamlin's clinical team began working in partnership with FIGO to increase the number of trained fistula surgeons around the world. These surgeons train at Hamlin to acquire surgical skills and knowledge to treat fistula injuries beyond the borders of Ethiopia. Beyond surgical technique, the FIGO participants learn about how to treat patient using the Hamlin Model of Care.
To date, 28 surgeons and six nurses from around the world visited and trained at Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to learn Hamlin's best-practice technique for fistula surgery. These surgeons are now using their skills to help women in Madagascar, Ghana, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Globally, the FIGO Fistula Training Initiative has trained 52 surgeons and resulted in more than 7,500 fistula repair operations across the developing world.