There are an estimated 39,000 women surviving with untreated fistula in Ethiopia, living in isolation and shame.

You can help hope shine again.

Women deserve to live free of fistula

Nearly 4,000 women develop fistula each year in Ethiopia as a result of difficult and prolonged labour. A fistula is a hole in the bladder or rectum caused by obstructed labour. Fistulas leave women unable to control their bladder and sometimes their bowels. They are shamed into living in isolation, often abandoned by their husbands, existing on the outskirts of society.

Our partner can give these women their lives back in an operation which takes just a few hours. They are provided free of charge and the women are given time to rehabilitate with other fistula survivors.

We believe that women like Ache (below) deserve to live their full lives free of fistula.

Read Ache's Story

Ache isn’t sure of her birthday but believes she is over 50 years old. When she was a very young woman, Ache gave birth but her labour was painful, lasting 3 whole days. In the end, her baby did not survive and Ache found she could no longer control her bladder. She has lived with this for 30 years. 

Urine soaked her clothing throughout the day and night. She was so ashamed. Ache hid herself away from her husband and family. She thought there was no cure and that this was just how her life had to be.  

Once Ache knew the leaking of her bladder wouldn’t stop, she left her husband and moved back home with her mother…


Ache after her operation with Dr Ambaye
Dr Ambaye Woldemichael

Meet Dr Ambaye,
Senior Fistula Surgeon

Thanks to your donations Dr Ambaye and her colleagues in Jima, Ethiopia can treat women for fistula, incontinence and pelvic prolapse. 

Dr Ambaye has been practicing for over 27 years and was trained by the late Dr Catherine Hamlin, who shared her vision for an Ethiopia free from fistula.

Read more about her team’s amazing work below.

Our 2021 Impact Report

Your ongoing support, despite the pandemic, allowed our partners to reach some of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia and bring lasting change to their lives. Read more about the impact your donations have made.

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