Dr Wondwossen Ergete Woldeab is a urologist at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. A respected and experienced member of Hamlin’s Clinical Team, Dr Wondwossen is using his expertise to improve the wellbeing of women who have suffered an obstetric fistula injury. He is determined to see every woman in Ethiopia have access to high quality obstetric care.
Dr Wondwossen has traveled extensively in the process of learning how to best help those most in need. After studying his undergraduate degree in medicine at Jimma University, in southwestern Ethiopia, Dr Wondwossen specialised in general surgery at the Addis Ababa University. This was followed by a stint at the Kiimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Tanzania, where he studied urology. After his time in Tanzania, Dr Wondwossen traveled to India, where he did a fellowship in kidney transplant surgery at Muljibhai Patel Urology Hospital in Nadiad.
Dr Wondwossen now lives in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he lives with his wife, who works for UN Women, and their two children.
Dr Wondwossen started with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in 2020. His motivation was simple: “I am keen to help the women who suffered a lot while giving birth… I want to decrease their suffering in any way I can. I am very much excited to be part of this team which is working to alleviate the suffering of women from underserved communities” says Dr Wondwossen.
As a urologist, he works primarily in urinary diversion surgery for complex fistula cases and ureteric implantation for lower urinary tracts that cannot be reconstructed. “Because these diversions are the last resort to make the women dry, I do them with the utmost care and diligence,” Dr Wondwossen explains. Reconstructive urology is a particular point of interest for Dr Wondwossen, and a subspecialty he wants to continue to push forward with in his career.
For Dr Wondwossen, the work is rewarding, and sometimes emotional: “I have seen women who were incontinent for 16, 18, 19 years and I couldn’t help but cry to see their joy when they finally became dry. These are some of the highlights of my professional journey.”
The Hamlin Model of Care, pioneered by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia co-founder Dr Catherine Hamlin, remains at the heart of everything done at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. As Dr Wondwossen puts it, “Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin were dedicated to the cause of the poor, and they gave their lives to that cause… that is palpable even now when you see the culture of the hospital they built.”
Dr Wondwossen’s work is helping to transform the lives of women suffering with fistula. His hopes for the future? “Good obstetric care reaching every woman in Ethiopia,” he declares.
Click here to learn more about the work of the Hamlin Clinical Team.