Women suffering from obstetric fistula often find it difficult to obtain care from their local rural hospital. For those who have heard of the Fistula Hospital, the journey on public transport to Addis Ababa, with its alien customs and language, may require the sale of an asset such as an ox to fund and can be a challenge too far for a leaking woman. Even if they manage to get through the gate, the local doctors may not have the necessary training or experience; fistula patients are not emergency cases; they wet the beds and their smell is socially unacceptable.
The Fistula Hospital has initiated an expansion project building five mini-hospitals throughout Ethiopia. Each has its own operating theater and trained staff. They are located in the grounds of existing Government Referral Hospitals to ensure close collaboration and partnership with the regional health authorities. Complicated cases can be referred to the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa.
The five hospital are located in in key placed throughout the country in Bahir Dar (Amhara region), Mekelle (Tigrae region), Yirgalem (Southern Nations region), Harar (in the East) and Metu (in the Oromia region to the West).
- Bahir Dar Hamlin Fistula Center, established in 2005 in the Amhara region of 20 million people.
- Mekelle Hamlin Fistula Center, established in 2006 in the Tigray region of 4 million people.
- Yirgalem Hamlin Fistula Center, established in 2006 in the Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPR) in a region of 15 million people.
- Harar Hamlin Fistula Center, established in 2009, in the Oromia region of 196,000 people.
- Metu Hamlin Fistula Center, established in 2010 located in the southwestern Oromia region of 1.4 million people.
- To offer high quality holistic treatment to women with obstetric fistula at locations nearer to their home communities
- To provide prevention and education programs for local health workers, Traditional Birth Attendants, and the general public about how to avoid the risks of unattended pregnancy and labor
- To provide a voice for women with obstetric fistula: a patient advocate
- To give pre-natal shelter to high risk and post-obstetric fistula repair mothers