For many years, when Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin sent young women home healed from the Fistula Hospital in Addis, wearing a new dress, the most important instruction the women were given was, “When you get pregnant again, before the birth, start walking to the nearest hospital.” The Hamlins’ long-term dream was for midwifery training and midwifery centres in remote rural areas. Many of these centres have now been established.
Ethiopia’s climate, geography and regional security can be challenging and dangerous at times. Many women in remote villages must navigate mountainous, difficult terrain to reach maternity care.
Every rural Hamlin Midwifery Centre serves a catchment of about 50,000 people in surrounding villages. But some of the villages can be 40-60 km away over rutted dirt roads, often inaccessible by bus, or even four-wheel drive or motorbike in rainy season.
For women living in poverty in far-lying villages, transportation to a Hamlin Midwifery Centre during labour can be impossible. They have no choice but to give birth at home without medical care, facing childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula, stillbirth and even maternal death.
In Hamlin Midwifery Centres in Gorche and Teticha, only a few of the hundreds of pregnant women from distant villages make it to birth safely with a Hamlin Midwife.
We can solve this by building maternity Waiting Rooms. By building rooms where women can come to live while they wait in the weeks before their baby is due, pregnant mothers can access the life-saving care of the Hamlin Midwives.
We need to raise $45,000 to build two waiting rooms.
One generous couple have already donated $20,000.
We still need $25,000.