Preventative Measures in Unprecedented Times

Hamlin hospitals

All patients arriving at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital are assessed and monitored for COVID-19. A building, separate from the main hospital, has been set up for patients to stay while this takes place. If no symptoms are detected, their fistula assessment and treatment is scheduled. If patients have symptoms, they will be moved to an isolation room and treated. So far, there have been no COVID-19 cases at any Hamlin hospital, and the dedicated team at Hamlin is working hard to keep it that way.

Hamlin patients

All patients currently under treatment are educated about the COVID-19 virus and preventative measures to keep them safe. Face masks are being provided to patients and are mandatory while moving around the hospital compound. Hand sanitizers have been made available and visitors from outside the hospital are not permitted.

Hamlin staff

Staff are provided with hand sanitizers, face masks, and every staff member is required to wash their hands before entering the hospitals and offices. The hospital has also introduced additional disinfecting of wards, offices and other facilities to continue regular services safely. 

Thank you for your ongoing support this year and for being part of our Hamlin community.

The Hamlin Shop remains open for online orders. If you need to reach us please email [email protected].

Colour version of the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation logo

Leaving a Meaningful, Lasting Legacy

Leaving a meaningful, lasting legacy. Since the beginning, a movement of generous people have supported Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin’s dream to eradicate obstetric fistula. Whether it’s leaving a gift in your will or fundraising in a creative way, because of YOU more Ethiopian women are getting the maternal health care they deserve.

Barb, a long-term volunteer at Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation, chose to leave a lasting legacy in her will - a bequest to help ensure future generations of Ethiopian women with obstetric fistula will receive the support and treatment they need.

“Many years ago, I had an obstructed labor with my son and he had to be delivered via emergency caesarean section... I dread to think what might have happened to me. My family feels proud that we are leaving a lasting legacy to help Ethiopian women,” says Barb.

Gifts in will

By naming 'Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation Fund' in your will, you’re making a significant contribution to the prevention and treatment of devastating childbirth injuries in Ethiopia. Bequests are an easy and thoughtful way to leave a lasting tribute to a wonderful cause.

You can bequeath a specific dollar amount, property to be sold, or a percentage of your residual estate. Your estate will receive an estate tax charitable deduction for the amount of the gift. KBFUS can provide you with sample language to include in your last will and testament to make a charitable bequest to your existing legacy fund, or to establish a new legacy fund at KBFUS.

If you are based in the US or Canada and are interested in leaving a bequest to Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation or would like more information, please email [email protected]. Please also email us If you have already named Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation Fund in your Will. By letting us know, we can thank you, record your planned gift and ensure you receive regular updates about the programs your gift will support.

One of the World's Finest Fistula Surgeons

"Mamitu is so valuable. She’s one of the world’s top fistula surgeons. Just think: almost every fistula surgeon in the world today has been trained by Mamitu Gashe, or by someone who’s been trained by Mamitu." - Dr Yeshineh, Medical Director, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

From humble beginnings, and with the support of thousands of our donors, Dr Catherine Hamlin built a network of six hospitals across Ethiopia, a rehabilitation center, the Hamlin College of Midwives and 80 Hamlin-supported rural midwifery clinics. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia today employs more than 550 Ethiopian professionals, many of whom were trained by Catherine.

During Catherine’s time in Ethiopia, over 60,000 women had their fistula injuries repaired – more than any other facility in the world. One of those patients was a young girl afflicted by terrible childbirth injuries, Mamitu Gashe, who went on, as a woman to become one of the world’s finest fistula surgeons. Mamitu was by Catherine’s side for almost 50 years and it is with enormous pride that we’re excited to announce that the story of Mamitu and Catherine’s friendship will be published next month. Healing Lives is the story of the deep love between these two extraordinary women who spent decades together, treating women with obstetric fistula injuries and training thousands of fistula surgeons from all over the world.

Mamitu has been recognized by the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In Britain, she was a co-recipient of the esteemed Honorary Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 2018 the BBC included Mamitu in its list of 100 of the most inspiring and influential women around the world. Mamitu still lives on the grounds of Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and is determined to see obstetric fistula eradicated and every last woman suffering a fistula found and treated.

Thanks to Catherine, Mamitu and the exceptional Ethiopian medical professionals at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, great progress has been made. But there is still more work to be done. We need your continued support to do this. Warmest thanks for being part of the Hamlin community.

Carolyn Hardy
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation

P.S. Proceeds from Hamlin Shop sales of Healing Lives will support Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

Our Board Member in Chicago

Sarah Ames, Director

Sarah is a partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, a national law firm in Chicago, Illinois U.S. She represents subsidiaries of foreign companies in corporate, commercial, employment and immigration matters.  Sarah was the first woman to run a marathon on each of the 7 continents 3, 4 and 5 times.  For her fifth time running around the globe, Sarah ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and raised donations for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital along the way.

Read Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation board member Sarah Ames' story below

A friend in Chicago told me about the Hamlin Fistula Hospital and introduce me to a contact at the hospital who I met while travelling through Addis Ababa a couple of times. As I learned more about Catherine and Reg Hamlin and their incredible work, I knew I wanted to be a supporter.

A donation of a few hundred dollars to Hamlin could lead to an immediate, visible and life changing result to a patient, which was inspiration enough to become a donor.

I had a "running start" to becoming an active supporter and by choosing to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days as a fundraiser for Hamlin. If a woman could endure being in labor for six-seven days, surely I could endure a few hours of running and catching a break in an airline seat for a few days.

Knowing that running 295.4km in 168 hours changed the lives of more than 30 women with debilitating injuries was the greatest experience and is continued motivation to support Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

- Sarah Ames

US board member | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation (USA) | Working to eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever.
Sarah with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia co-founder Dr Catherine Hamlin