Maternal health

Help a mother access healthcare

Our local partners work on a range of projects dedicated to improving maternal health access and eradicating obstetric fistula – childbirth injuries throughout the country.


A prolonged and obstructed child labour can cause an obstetric fistula – a hole torn in the bladder, vagina or rectum. The injury can have devastating physical and social consequences for women, leaving them doubly incontinent, isolated from family and friends and living in pain and fear.

In 2017, The Ethiopian Ministry of Health estimated there are more than 36,000 women living in rural Ethiopia with obstetric fistula. Over 3,000 new cases occur each year. 

In a country of 102 million, fewer than 7,000 midwives are trained to deal with this issue/condition.



Ethiopiaid is partnering with three organisations in Ethiopia to find and treat women living with fistula; improve maternal healthcare; train and rehabilitate fistula survivors; and restore dignity so that these women can live healthy prosperous futures. 

 Our partners are:

  • Hamlin Fistula Hospital and Midwifery College, an organisation set up by Dr Catherine Hamlin
  • Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ)

Alison shares her passion for helping fistula survivors ⪢

Alison talks about founding Healing Hands of Joy and the benefits of Safe Motherhood Ambassadors.

Hawwa’s story of restored dignity ⪢

Funded by your donations, The Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa empowered Hawwa to start building a future and helped deliver new life.

An ambassador for skilled midwives ⪢

Tblets goes through rigorous training to become a midwife to help prevent injuries and promote safe antenatal services.

Our partners

Two decades ago, the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa was the only place where fistula patients could be treated. Today, not only can patients access the treatment they need through six fistula centres across Ethiopia, but they can also access complete physical and social rehabilitation facilities. Hamlin’s College of Midwives actively recruits and trains new midwives and then deploys them back to their own rural communities to provide maternal healthcare and support in the regions they’re needed most.

Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ) works to end obstetric fistula in Ethiopia in two ways: first to identify, refer and rehabilitate women living with obstetric fistula, and second to break down the social stigma behind fistula and show how communities can support sufferers. HHOJ trains ex-fistula patients as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors who return to their communities to identify new cases of fistula and educate expectant mothers on safe delivery. HHOJ also works on a wider community level, hosting community workshops, religious leader training, film screenings and male sensitivity training to raise awareness and change attitudes for this socially-isolating condition.

Our impact

In 2019, Ethiopiaid’s donors and local partners made a real difference to women in local Ethiopian communities:


safe deliveries by Hamlin midwives in health centres


community members were educated about safe birth practices


male family members helped to support fistula survivors' rehabilitation


women supported to reintegrate back into their communities


women received repair surgery for a fistula and 484 for a pelvic prolapse


women were trained as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors and sent out to rural communities

Donate today

With your donation, our local partners can restore a vulnerable Ethiopian’s dignity and help them rewrite their story.

We also help

Women and girls ⪢

Adolescent girls are often subjected to harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, gender-based violence and child marriage. 

Education ⪢

Around 60,000 children live on the streets of Addis Ababa. More than half have no access to shelter, adequate food, or an education.

Living with disabilities ⪢

People living with disabilities are routinely denied their most basic human rights, and are cut off from education, employment and healthcare. In Ethiopia, many live in extreme poverty.

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