Dear friends worldwide,

 

It is good to be in touch with you all again and to know of your continuing interest and deep concern for our poor patients. They are the reason for all we do! There are many hurdles to be overcome as Ethiopia seeks to become free from fistula - a still neglected and preventable injury.  

 

The worst hurdle is the widespread lack of rural doctors.

We hope to one day have plenty of our own well-trained midwives in these remote areas and only then will we see a change which will surely solve the fistula problem, as in Europe and America and other high income countries. 

 

We are graduating a few more midwives every year from our college; this year 25 students will graduate on October 11th after four years of training. Most will have done 60 to 70 deliveries on their own and seen all sorts of obstetric complications as part of their training. They spend time in Attat Hospital, a very good Catholic missionary country hospital south of Addis Ababa. There they are taught much with our own tutors participating.  

  

 

We have had good news about our graduate midwives already deployed: so far all have been placed within a reasonable distance of our own rural fistula hospitals and have help from own gynecologist if a mother needs a Caesarean Section or other help.  

 

As the midwives are placed in more remote antenatal clinics, this help will not be available. In these situations, if patients need a Caesarean Section to deliver, our midwife will have to go to the nearest rural hospital to get help from a health officer to operate, hoping this health officer is one that has been trained for such surgery.  

  

 

Most of our antenatal clinics are very busy, as our midwives are becoming trusted by the local village women. We have two trained midwives working together at the same antenatal clinic; we also have senior trained staff who visit all our clinics regularly to assess them from time to time, bringing news and requests to us in Addis Ababa if they are in need of extra drugs or equipment etc.

 

 

I know that one day, hopefully in this century, all our Ethiopian mothers will have safe deliveries, even in the remote countryside and fistula repairs will no longer be needed.

 

I want to thank you all for your continuing commitment and financial help over so many years.

 

I send my love to you all,


Catherine Hamlin signature

Dr. Catherine Hamlin

Hamlin Fistula USA
www.hamlinfistulausa.org

Dr. Hamlin
 (All photos by Joni Kabana)

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