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Our History

Our founders, Catherine and Reg Hamlin, arrived in Ethiopia in 1959 and found women suffering from childbirth complications on a scale unimaginable in an American hospital. Patients with obstetric fistulas seeking medical help were turned away, as they had no cure for this condition. Confronted by this tragedy, Catherine and Reg studied medical literature from the 1850s to develop their own obstetric fistula surgical technique.Β 

Baby and Mother
Dr Hamlin and Patients

Together, they blazed a trail for treatment combining obstetric fistula surgery, counseling and rehabilitation β€“ now recognized around the world as the Hamlin Model of Care.

Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a healthcare network of more than 550 Ethiopian staff – many trained by Catherine herself - working in six fistula hospitals (350 beds) across Ethiopia. Each hospital has well-established theatre facilities, state-of-the-art medical equipment and world class clinicians.

Hamlin is the reference organization for the prevention and effective, holistic treatment of obstetric fistula. Our vision is simple: To eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever and empower women to reassert their humanity, secure their health and well-being, and regain their roles in their families and communities.


 β€œWhen I die, this place will go on for many, many years until we have eradicated fistula altogether – until every woman in Ethiopia is assured of a safe delivery and a live baby.”  

Dr. Catherine Hamlin 

Help finish what Catherine started

Make a tax deductible donation to help eradicate fistula. Forever.
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All rights reserved 2020 Catherine Hamlin Foundation (R) (ABN58159647499)
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fiscally sponsored by KBF USA (EIN582277856) and KBF Canada (RCO769784893RR0001)