As some of you may have heard Catherine Hamlin died last week at age 96. Catherine who was an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist dedicated 60 years of her life to the care of vulnerable and marginalised Ethiopian women suffering horrific birth injuries. Catherine performed thousands upon thousands of fistula repairs herself, and taught local women operative procedures and trained locals to be surgeons and carers for these vulnerable women. She also set up a midwifery training school, which Mamatoto Midwives has been financially supporting.
Due to the legacy of her work, hope and dignity remain options for pregnant girls and women in Ethiopia.
Catherine together with her late husband Dr Reginald Hamlin set about eradicating obstetric fistula, a condition caused by obstructed labour which is an entirely preventable condition. Obstetric fistula is a condition whereby there is a hole between the bladder and vagina or rectum. Women with this condition face incontinence, shame, social isolation and chronic health problems.
Obstetric fistula can be prevented by timely access to obstetric care, and delaying the age of the first pregnancy.
Mamatoto Midwives has supported the work of the Hamlin Foundation by donating to the foundation over the years. This support will remain, bringing hope and dignity to Ethiopian women.