Lasting change for women and girls requires addressing a critical root cause of obstetric fistula: a lack of skilled birth attendants. That’s why Hamlin introduced programs to increase access to quality healthcare locally. Through these measures, we aim to break the cycle of unrelieved obstructed labor and women and girls from sustaining obstetric fistulas in the first place.
Through our Hamlin College of Midwives, we recruit women from rural communities in Ethiopia to learn the Hamlin Model of Care during a four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery program. Since 2007, more than 170 students have graduated from the program. The full curriculum is certified under the International Confederation of Midwives, and it includes the precondition that students conduct at least 40 deliveries before they graduate.
Upon graduation, Hamlin midwives return to their villages as health leaders in their communities – today staffing 80 rural midwifery clinics in remote areas where their skills were desperately needed. Last year, Hamlin midwives delivered more than 30,000 babies and not a single fistula occurred during childbirth.
The unique and intensive training I received at the College, incorporated with clinical placements, made me a highly respected professional among my own community, whom I have been serving for the past four years… I would encourage those young girls studying midwifery at the College to study hard; let’s realize Dr. Catherine’s dream of ‘a midwife for every woman’.Hindiya