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Meet our Clinical Team: Dr Melaku Abriha

Dr Melaku Abriha is the Medical Director and Fistula Surgeon at Hamlin’s Mekele Fistula Hospital.

Dr Melaku is the Medical Director at Hamlin’s regional Mekele Fistula Hospital, a busy hospital for obstetric fistula repair in the north of Ethiopia.

He is a senior obstetrician-gynecologist and urogynaecologist and has been a valued member of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Clinical Team for almost 20 years.

Dr Melaku 72 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

Dr Melaku first met Dr Catherine Hamlin in 2001 while he was undertaking his internship at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

“She [Catherine] has been a role model for my career. She and her late husband, Dr Reg were champions for holistic fistula treatment, not only for Ethiopia but for the rest of the world as well. They inspired me.”

Dr Melaku Abriha

Hamlin’s Mekele Fistula Hospital opened in 2006 and is strategically located to serve populations from Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions.

Mekele is the capital of the Tigray region – a region ravaged by the civil war that ended in November 2022 and which resulted in the death of approximately 600,000 civilians.

Dr Melaku 71 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

During this time, with the threat of war surrounding them, Hamlin’s Mekele Fistula Hospital was forced to close or provide care at a severely reduced rate.

Though the war is now over, Hamlin’s Mekele Fistula Hospital faces many challenges in its endeavor to return to its pre-war level of operation. These challenges include expired medication, equipment which has fallen into disrepair or is outdated and, critically, an increase in the backlog of women requiring surgery.

Dr Melaku chose to work at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia because:

“You serve your patients with worry [concern] and apply every available solution to cure them. We help the poorest of poor on the planet. We are making a difference"

Dr Melaku Abriha

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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.