Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world with over 3,000 new cases of obstetric fistula each year. In a county of 102 million, there are less than 5,000 trained midwives. This results in only 16% of births taking place with a skilled attendant present. An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both.
ETHIOPIAID’S AIM: Eradicating obstetric fistula by 2020
To improve the maternal healthcare and the safety of childbirth, Ethiopiaid has partnered with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and is supporting the following projects:
Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
At the hospital, doctors and specialists come from all over the world to volunteer their services. And it's thanks to their incredible work that over 95% of all fistula injuries can be successfully repaired.
Desta Mender is a rehabilitation centre that provides a range of support services, helping women who have sustained childbirth injuries reintegrate into society. Often these women have become outcasts, so proper rehabilitation is crucial before they have the confidence to interact with their communities again and educate others about the importance of quality maternal healthcare.
Hamlin College of Midwives
The college has developed a progressive curriculum that will enable the midwives to work confidently and autonomously in the poorest areas of rural Ethiopia. The Bachelor in Midwifery degree train midwives specifically to work independently in their own communities. The course equips midwives with the required knowledge and skills to provide labour and delivery services, ante natal and post natal care, family planning, HIV/AIDS counselling, record keeping and medical administration.
In partnership with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, we have achieved the following:
- More than 50,000 women treated at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital.
- Desta Mender is currently home to 45 women who are recovering from fistula injuries. They are receiving practical support to help them gain employment once they leave the centre.
- There are currently over 90 students training to become midwives at the College. These will be deployed into their own rural communities so that isolated regions have access to quality maternal healthcare.
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