Name: Dr Leta Gedefa Ararsa
Job: Medical Director and Surgeon at Hamlin's Harar Fistula Hospital
Start date: September, 2020
During his days as a medical student, Dr Leta’s life was profoundly affected by the mothers he cared for and got to know. Hearing stories of women who lived for decades in pain and isolation, and witnessing their shame, Dr Leta knew he had to do something to alleviate their suffering. Inspired by the work of Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin, he started working at Hamlin’s Harar Fistula Hospital in September 2020, where he has since performed over 70 life-changing surgeries on women –including Amina.
According to Dr Leta, many challenges still lie ahead on the road to a fistula-free Ethiopia. “There is still a lack of awareness of the dangers of home delivery and labour complication. There are not enough skilled birth attendants to help women everywhere, and a lack of roads and ambulances are a big problem” Dr Leta assesses.
Hamlin’s Patient Identification Program is a huge step towards getting women the help they need – and making sure that all mothers have the access to medical and maternal care that they all deserve. Dr Leta is determined to make fistula a thing of the past. “The smile on the face of my patients when their dignity is restored is the best part of my job. It’s why I won’t stop until Ethiopian mothers can enjoy a safe pregnancy, delivery and life with their children,” says Dr Leta.