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February 13, 2022
Asrebeb's Story

When we first met Asrebeb, she weighed only 22kg. She had been living in a dark hut for more than six years. She was malnourished and in terrible pain. Her muscle contractures were so severe that it took months of intensive physiotherapy before she could even straighten her legs. Asrebeb’s health issues are so complex that she lives full time at Desta Mender. This is just thirty minutes from the main hospital, where she can receive specialist medical care as required. The great news is that recently she was able to throw away her walking sticks and can now walk without assistance.

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December 20, 2021
Hamlin's Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program FY21

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.

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September 16, 2021
Hamlin's Exciting New Women's Empowerment Program

Dr Catherine Hamlin believed that treating an obstetric fistula patient isn’t just treating a hole in the bladder, but rather the whole woman with love and care. In 2002, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia opened Desta Mender, Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre, where long-term fistula patients undergo education classes and learn income-generating skills to support reintegration back into their communities and independent living. 

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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.