Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world with 10,000 new cases of obstetric fistula each year. In a county of 94.1 million, there are less than 7,000 trained midwives. This results in only 10% of births taking place with a skilled attendant present. An obstetric fistula is a hole that forms in a woman’s bladder or rectum caused by obstructed labour during childbirth.
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 40,000 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 suppport 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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