The Fight To Eradicate Obstetric Fistula

Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Tuesday 15th May 2018

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia recruits students from rural areas, puts them through rigorous midwifery training as midwives, and deploys them back to their villages where their skills are needed.

Ensuring women in Ethiopia have access to qualified midwives so they no longer suffer for days on end with an obstructed labour, is a vital part of Hamlin’s vision.

The Hamlin College of Midwives
Each student undertakes a four-year degree in Midwifery and commits to working as a Hamlin midwife in a rural location for a minimum of four years following their graduation. Generous supporters, like you, fund scholarships for each midwifery student.

There are now Hamlin midwifes at 46 rural government health centre. The long term effects of a Hamlin midwife are enormous – when a Hamlin midwife starts at a clinic, new cases of fistula drop to virtually zero in nearby villages.

In 2017, 85 Hamlin Midwives were able to provide skilled delivery services to 10,844 labouring women.

Firomi and Meron, both 23, are from Mettu, a small town in the South West of Ethiopia. Both women graduated from the Hamlin Collage of midwives last July and are passionate young midwives, eager to apply the knowledge and skills they gained in their degrees.

Firomi and Meron have both returned to work in their local health centers.

“The fact that I am a Hamlin trained midwife, made it easy as a student I never had to worry about delivery equipment but here on the ground I must use the available equipment as efficiently as possible and learn how to work with limited resources” Firomi said. 

Meron has been deployed to a newly identified Hamlin supported health center, located over 30Kms off the road from Mettu town. In order to reach the clinic Mettu has to travel a long and difficult mountain road. Due to this difficult location, the clinic suffers severe shortages which affects performance; the delivery room is far below  standard, the delivery couch is old and worn and medicals supplies are lacking.

Meron has to work with these challenges and adapt, in order to build trust and serve the community. 

“Compared with Dr Catherine’s many challenges in the long years it took to establish such a life changing hospital for women of my country, mine is very small. I am exerting my utmost effort so that all delivering mothers in my community get quality care." Meron says.

In a country of 102 million, there are approximately just 5,000 trained midwives. Please give £45 today to help provide more midwives in rural Ethiopia.

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