A midwife for every woman: 20 students graduate at the Hamlin College of Midwives

Posted by Samantha Andrades on Wednesday 26th July 2017

On Saturday July 15th 2017, The Hamlin College of Midwives (HCM) proudly awarded 20 female students the BSc Degree  in Midwifery at the College’s Compounds.  Friends and families, staff and representatives from partner organisations were only but a few attending the ceremony and celebrating with the graduates this significant step in midwifery education.

Midwife and fistula patients at Hamlin Fistula HospitalIn acknowledging the graduates' achievement, Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who founded  HFE with her late husband Dr. Reginald, said: ‘You are about to put in practice what you learnt, and to us your skills for the area you will be working in. I hope most of you will be in the areas you once lived and will know the people you will be helping. They   will, I am sure, welcome you back to serve them now as trained midwives. And to see and help for their babies being born, and growing up safely under your care.’

Ethiopia still has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. It is estimated there are 39,000 women suffering with untreated fistula and another 3,700 who develop fistula injuries each year in the country. Obstetric fistula are holes that form between the vagina and bladder as a result of the prolonged pushing of a baby’s head against the wall of the mother’s womb. The agony of protracted labour often results in a stillborn child.

However, the last year has shown very positive improvements, with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital reporting that fewer incidences of new fistula patients are occurring. Currently there are approx. 7,000 trained midwives for a population of over 100 million, of which only 1,500 are trained to deal with fistula.

Ethiopiaid has been working with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, who works at forefront of fistula prevention in Ethiopia, for 15 years. The Hospital, which was founded by Dr. Reg Hamlin OBE and Dr. Catherine Hamlin AC in 1974 was the first hospital dedicated to the treatment of fistula in the world and the only place where fistula injuries could be treated in Ethiopia. Today, thanks to your support, the Hamlin Fistula Hospital has been able to open a number of treatment centres across Ethiopia, and now provides training for the next generation of Ethiopian Midwives.

Although the provision and quality of maternal health services in Ethiopia is improving and more than 40,000 women have been treated at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, there is still so much that needs to be done. Thousands of women across the country are still needlessly suffering during childbirth; from preventable fistula injuries and from a lack of pre- and post-natal support.  But we could not do this without you. 

We need your support to help improve the situation for pregnant women and new mothers in Ethiopia and eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia by 2020.

Please consider donating today. Donate here

About HFE: The Hamlin Fistula Hospital is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of childbirth injuries called obstetric fistulas: a condition that can lead to severe infections and paralysis caused by nerve damage. Ethiopiaid works with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital to help prevent, treat and rehabilitate women with this birth injury. Together, we work in over 30 health centres across Ethiopia providing surgery, counselling, skills training, antenatal and postnatal care.


Pictured above: Midwife and patient and Hamlin Fistula Hospital, Ethiopia.



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