This Saturday, May 23 is the 3rd annual International Day to End Fistula. The United Nation’s theme for this year is “End fistula, restore women’s dignity” and we can’t think of a better way to describe the work of Hamlin Fistula.
In the 41 years that our hospital has been in operation, we have repaired obstetric fistula free of charge for women more than 43,000 women in Ethiopia, many of whom have not only lost a child, but have also been isolated by their communities. Our hospitals are joyful places where women are not only treated for their condition, but their senses of self-worth and dignity are truly restored. The Ethiopian health ministry estimated that there are nearly 20,000 remaining cases of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia and a single, standard surgery costs $600.
But repairing fistulas isn’t enough. We also work to prevent childbirth injuries like fistula by sending out graduates of the Hamlin College of Midwives to rural health clinics, giving pregnant women the pre- and post-natal care that they need to deliver their children safely.
Very few of us can imagine the trauma of losing a child or the devastation of living with this debilitating condition, but the hope in a woman’s eyes when she learns that she is whole again is universal.
Help us bring that hope. Help us end fistula.