“They are all precious to me. For every patient that comes to us we try to give them all the love, care and expertise that we have to help them to get better and back to a normal life."- Dr Catherine Hamlin
The team at Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre, Desta Mender, continues to restore the health and dignity of women who have sustained severe or complex obstetric fistula injuries. Desta Mender embodies the Hamlin Model of Care, which is grounded in a fundamental respect for women with fistula injuries and a deep commitment to the provision of complete and compassionate care. Patients receive both physical and emotional rehabilitation during their stay, while accessing ongoing medical care for their injuries.
In addition, Desta Mender gives women the opportunity to take part in literacy and numeracy classes, life skills and vocational training, empowering them to be productive members of their communities when they return home. 1,052 patients enrolled in training and education courses at Desta Mender and Hamlin's regional fistula hospitals in FY21.
After temporarily suspending programs due to COVID-19, Desta Mender reopened in September 2020. Desta Mender continues to provide rehabilitation and reintegration activities with appropriate protective measures taken to ensure the safety of both staff and patients. In January 2021, Hamlin launched the Women’s Empowerment Program, providing vocational and life skills training to former fistula patients, with 44 women participating in the first group.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and physical rehabilitation form an essential part of Hamlin’s physiotherapy services for patients. SUI services include training and assessment of pelvic floor muscle, overflow incontinence management, measuring residual urine, bladder training, stiff catheter training, follow up including medication or treating infection, linking the patient to social work, finance and arranging transportation for discharge. During FY2021, 760 patients have accessed these confidence-building services for periods from seven days to six months.
Thank you for supporting Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program this year. To learn more about Hamlin's work in 2021, click here to read our Year in Review Newsletter.