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Two lives restored: Hosana's story

Hosana has faced many challenges in her life. When she was 6 years old, she lost her father. Since then, Hosana and her mother have lived together and endured significant hardships.

To support themselves, they made and sold clothes. Hosana lost an arm in an accident and her first marriage ended when her husband left her. It was a very difficult and desperate time for Hosana and her elderly mother.

Hosana 3 1500x1000 1 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

Then Hosana’s mother became ill. Hosana told us:

“When my mother told me about the pain she was experiencing, I confided in her that I was having similar issues. It turns out that we were both suffering from complications related to our reproductive health (advanced stage pelvic organ prolapse [POP]).

The people in our neighborhood ostracized us because we were unable to properly wash our clothes and maintain cleanliness. This took a heavy emotional toll on us. In desperation, I even considered taking my own life.”

The devastating impact of advanced stage POP

Advanced stage POP remains one of the most common gynecological problems in Ethiopia. Unlike in the United States where most cases of prolapse are diagnosed and treated early, many women in Ethiopia live in remote areas with little access to medical care. They usually live with prolapse for years, resulting in advanced stage POP with complications.

This condition, like obstetric fistula, has a devastating physical and psychological impact on a woman.

A new chapter begins for Hosana and her mother

Treatment can dramatically improve a woman’s health and quality of life. In addition to obstetric fistula repair, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia provides surgery for a range of gynecological conditions, including advanced stage POP.

Hosana 2 1500x1000 1 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

Thanks to our generous supporters, this life-changing treatment is free of charge to patients.

Hosana and her mother received specialist surgery and holistic, loving care at Hamlin’s Harar Fistula Hospital. Hosana says:

“From the moment we arrived, the staff treated us with kindness and compassion. They bathed us, provided us with clean clothing and nutritious food. They have continued to support and care for us.

Now, my mother and I are on the path to healing, both physically and emotionally. I am grateful for the services and support we have received and I look forward to receiving vocational training so that I can find work and support myself and my mother going forward.

We are truly thankful to the hospital staff who have helped us through this difficult chapter.”

Learn more about Pelvic Organ Prolapse.


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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.