Donate Now

Study highlights importance of Hamlin’s rural midwives

The importance of rural midwifery care

Although 5% of women globally will experience an obstructed labour, women who do not have access medical attention, may experience an obstetric fistula. According to a 2021 Ethiopian study*, rural women are 1.5 times more likely to experience fistula, with those women living a considerable distance from midwifery clinics 3.7 times more likely to experience fistula. Fistula is preventable. This is why increasing access to rural midwifery care is so important for remote communities. 

The role of Hamlin Midwives

In addition to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s six regional fistula hospitals and outreach program, a large part of ensuring care reaches the most remote areas is through placement of Hamlin Midwives into rural communities. 

Young women from rural communities are provided scholarships to the Hamlin College of Midwives to complete a four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery Degree. Upon graduation, they are deployed to their local communities where they provide professional maternal health care to women. So far, 218 Hamlin Midwives have graduated from the college and are transforming communities through eradicating maternal death and birth injuries.

Hamlin Midwives prevent fistula

The presence of Hamlin Midwives is desperately needed for rural women to deliver their babies safely. Of the 19,000+ babies delivered by Hamlin Midwives last year, not one woman experienced an obstetric fistula injury.

Almost 73% of fistula injuries are caused by an obstructed and prolonged labour. Hamlin Midwives play a critical role in timely referral to nearby hospitals for further medical attention and often a caesarean delivery. 

Towards a safe future for every Ethiopian woman

The 2021 study confirmed the vulnerability of rural women to experiencing an obstetric fistula injury. The team at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is committed to Dr Catherine Hamlin’s vision for a midwife in every village of Ethiopia. We believe no woman should have to endure the agony of fistula. To achieve this vision Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has increased its presence in remote areas of Ethiopia to 94 Hamlin-supported midwifery centres this year.

Your support means highly skilled midwives are available to provide expert antenatal, labour, post-natal care, well-child care and family planning that make the world of difference for women seeking their basic right to start a family with their medical and compassionate needs taken care of.

*Gedefaw, G., Wondmieneh, A., Getie, A., Bimeraw, M., Demis, A. (2021). Estimating the prevalence and risk factors of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia: Results from Demographic and Health Survey

Help us give hope to every woman.

Keep up to date with our work including the latest news from our programmes in Ethiopia, ways to get involved and how your support can make a difference.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
We promise never to share your details with other organisations for marketing purposes. We store your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Hamlin Fistula NZ is committed to providing ongoing support for fistula surgery and for the preventive work of the midwives. The hospital in Addis Ababa has become a centre of excellence to which doctors from other countries come to learn and master the specialist skills of fistula surgery.

Photography credits to Mary F. Calvert, Kate Geraghty, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana, Joli Wescombe, Natasha Meyer and Martha Tadesse.