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Healing Lives

"The most amazing thing about Ms. Mamitu is not what she endured but what she has become... I'm in awe of her." - Nick Kristof, New York Times

'Healing Lives', a book by award-winning journalist, Sue Williams is the untold tale of of Mamitu Gashe, the protégée of Dr Catherine Hamlin, and the inspiring decades-long friendship between these two formidable women. Click here to get your copy today!

Healing Lives OUT NOW

Available in the US as a paperback, e-book and audio book!
Screen Shot Mamitu and Catherine | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.
Book Mockup Healing Lives 2 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

In 1962, three years after Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin arrived in Ethiopia, fourteen year-old Mamitu Gashe arrived seeking their aid. Mamitu was horrifically injured during childbirth in her mountain village in remote Ethiopia.

Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin saved her, and in return, Mamitu dedicated her life to their mission - helping women with fistula.

Under the Hamlins' guidance, Mamitu went from mopping floors and comforting fellow patients, to becoming one of the most acclaimed fistula surgeons in the world.

Mamitu was integral in expanding the Hamlin Model of Care beyond Ethiopia. It is widely acknowledged that nearly every obstetric fistula surgeon in the world either trained under Mamitu, or was trained by someone who trained under Mamitu.

Dr Catherine Hamlin and Mamitu were inseparable during the last decades of Catherine’s life. Mamitu still lives and works as a surgeon at Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. She remains one of the world's finest fistula surgeons and has the determination and dedication to carry on the work at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, to transform the lives of women suffering with fistula injuries and eradicate fistula from Ethiopia. Forever.

Feel moved and inspired by the story of two incredible women, an unlikely friendship, and a united mission to save the lives of over 70,000 Ethiopian women. 


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All rights reserved 2023 Catherine Hamlin Foundation (R) (ABN58159647499)
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fiscally sponsored by KBFUS (EIN582277856) and KBF Canada (RCO769784893RR0001)

Photography credits to Cameron Bloom, Nigel Brennan, Mary F. Calvert, Kate Geraghty, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana, Johannes Remling and Martha Tadesse.

Patient names have been changed to protect the identities of those we help.