Obstetric fistula is a complex injury that requires special treatment and care. The physical and psychological consequences are both debilitating and heartbreaking. Yet, most fistula injuries can be repaired with a simple 60-minute operation which completely restores a woman’s life and dignity. From July 2019-June 2020 (FY20), the team at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia continued to treat fistula patients through the pandemic and the passing of Dr Catherine Hamlin.
Hamlin's Treatment Program in FY20 saw over 1,000 fistula surgeries were performed at Hamlin’s six fistula hospitals. Hamlin is working harder than ever to find and treat women in remote parts of Ethiopia who have suffered alone for years, perhaps decades, without knowing that help is available. Hundreds of Hamlin-trained local health workers go door to door, person to person, tirelessly searching for the estimated 31,000 women still physically and emotionally isolated by fistula. They are brought to the nearest Hamlin hospital for treatment.
“You gave me my life back, for which I am forever indebted. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me and for many women like me.” - Buritu
The pandemic led to a dramatic reduction in patients seeking treatment at Hamlin’s fistula hospitals from May - August as people became increasingly fearful of traveling. However, Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and over 50 Hamlin-supported rural midwifery clinics remained open, with safeguards in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. October saw a return to normal operations at all six Hamlin hospitals. Considering these challenges, the Treatment Program in FY20 has seen considerable success.
Thank you for supporting Hamlin’s Treatment Program this year. To learn more about Treatment, click here.