Towards 100,000 women – Finding and Treating Every Last Ethiopian woman with Obstetric Fistula

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Adults - aged 25 to under 65
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

Ethiopia continues to face significant challenges in providing maternal and reproductive healthcare to rural and remote regions of the country. With 80% of the population living in these areas with little or no access to quality healthcare, more than 70% of women give birth without a doctor or nurse present. This often results in childbirth complications and devastating injuries like obstetric fistula, which are entirely preventable if skilled maternal healthcare professionals are available.

There are an estimated 31,000 Ethiopian women with untreated obstetric fistula injuries and an additional 3,000 new cases every year. Women are trapped in a life of pain, shame and isolation and are often hidden away, suffering alone for years or even decades, without knowing that help is available. The longer they live with these debilitating injuries, the more likely they are to develop additional complications such as the build-up of scar tissue, long-term infection and renal damage.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s immediate priority is to find and treat every last woman suffering from existing and new cases of obstetric fistula through its bold new Patient Identification and Treatment program. Hamlin’s team is increasing outreach efforts in rural and remote communities where women are likely to be living with untreated fistula. An important component of this program is to build awareness nationally, so a media and advertising campaign will support Hamlin’s outreach efforts.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Increase community demand for services through existing networks by:
    • Mobilise communities and creating awareness
    • Conduct high level advocacy forums
    • Share vital information through mass and local media campaigns
    • Educate communities and survivors
  2. Increase community demand through health service delivery systems:
    • Conduct door-to-door patient identification
    • Arrange transportation to Hamlin hospitals
    • Reduce out-of-pocket expenses for patients
  3. Increase service delivery by health providers through:
    • Train health professionals and provide supplies and equipment
    • Run fistula patient screening and identification campaigns
    • Treat and rehabilitate patients.

Indicators of success:
- Women with pre-existing fistula injuries identified and transported to nearest Hamlin hospital for surgery to repair fistula injuries and rehabilitation
- Women have successful fistula repair surgery and secure their health and wellbeing
- Women return to their families and communities with their health and dignity restored and regain their roles in their families and communities
- Increased number of women presenting at Hamlin regional hospitals and rural clinics
- Increased national awareness of obstetric fistula and more widespread knowledge of how to seek treatment.

Project Data & Lessons

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s monitoring and evaluation team will be responsible for tracking the program’s progress, providing feedback and documentation and preparing performance and financial reports for evidence-based decision-making by Hamlin’s Clinical and Management teams. A quarterly dashboard will also showcase results and ongoing progress.

There will be Case Stories and three reports produced during the campaign:
1. Weekly Status Report
2. Patient Identification Details form
3. Campaign Evaluation Report.

Project Dates

Project Commences: May 17, 2021
Project Completes: May 16, 2022

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
IMC Asia-Pacific Foundation: $38,000, Height Morris Foundation: $25,000, Tar-Ra Fund: $100,000, Neilson Foundation: $50,000, Private individual donors: $175,000, Aranday Foundation: $5,500.
Other Support Opportunities
Not Interested

Organisation Details

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation
ABN: 58159647499


Helen Wilson
Phone: 0427925324

About Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation has one mission: to eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. We are blazing a trail for holistic treatment and care, both physical and psychological, empowering women to secure their health and wellbeing and regain their roles in their families and communities. Our primary objective is to raise funds and awareness for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, five regional Hamlin hospitals, 80 Hamlin-supported rural midwifery clinics, the Hamlin College of Midwives and Desta Mender, Hamlin’s rehabilitation and reintegration centre. Funds are used for: (1) Identification, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of women suffering from obstetric fistula injuries (2) Prevention of obstetric fistula through training and rural deployment of Hamlin midwives (3) Research into the causes, treatment and prevention of obstetric fistula.

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