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Meet our Clinical Team: Dr Zahara Sualih

Dr Zahara Sualih, Surgeon at Hamlin’s Mettu Fistula Hospital

Dr Zahara Sualih is a surgeon at Hamlin’s Mettu Fistula Hospital. A trained obstetrician and gynaecologist, she is a valued member of Hamlin’s Clinical Team.

Screen Shot 2021 01 22 at 12.56.34 pm | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation (USA) | Working to eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever.

Dr Zahara joined Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in January 2015, after previously working at the Mettu Karl Hospital. Having graduated from the University of Gondar with her medical degree, she specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. The motivation to work for Hamlin was clear: “It is the best centre in Ethiopia to take care of women in need,” says Dr Zahara. It was not until she joined Hamlin that Dr Zahara learnt the surgical technique used for obstetric fistula repair, training under senior fistula surgeons of Hamlin’s Clinical Team.

The life’s work of Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin is incredibly inspirational for members of the Hamlin Clinical Team. “I don’t have the words to describe their selfless effort to change the lives of poor women. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s work has enabled a lot of women to live again and move forward,” says Dr Zahara.

Screen Shot 2021 01 22 at 12.56.27 pm | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation (USA) | Working to eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever.

Becoming an even better fistula surgeon

In the five years since she joined Hamlin, Dr Zahara has performed approximately 700 fistula repair surgeries. Thanks to the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s status as a centre of excellence in maternal health, Dr Zahara has been able to develop professionally. Being involved in both the Hamlin Urogynaecology Fellowship and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) surgeon training program has made her an even better fistula surgeon. “It makes me a better physician to holistically manage women’s birth injuries. My priority is to serve women with up to date, high quality care,” says Dr Zahara.

When she is not changing women’s lives, Dr Zahara likes to spend time playing with her four children, reading books and watching the occasional movie. Balancing life and work, Dr Zahara has been able to flourish professionally. “I feel that I am living a meaningful life! I am very happy with my job and the organisation is doing great,” she reflects.

Dr Zahara his working to build a world where fistula has been eradicated. She looks forward with optimism: “My hope for the future is generations of empowered women, who can make Ethiopia fistula-free.”

Screen Shot 2021 01 22 at 12.56.43 pm | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation (USA) | Working to eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever.

Learn more about Hamlin’s Clinical Team here.


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All rights reserved 2020 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 and images have been changed to protect the identities of those we help.