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  One operation can repair a fistula. But that’s not the end of the story. 

For so many women, the damage done by fistula requires treatment beyond the first fistula surgery. The physical and mental scars can only be healed in a supportive environment close to medical supervision.

Good nutrition is an essential part of healing and recovery. We help women to regain their strength through personalised nutrition plans that help to nourish patients who frequently come to us severely underweight.

Many patients also suffer nerve damage during labour and muscle contractures after months or years of immobility. Pre- and post-surgical care and intense physiotherapy is provided to patients at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

Most obstetric fistula injuries can usually be repaired with just a single operation. However, some women require more support and may need multiple surgeries to fully repair their fistula. For others, a complete cure is not possible and require ongoing care or a more comprehensive support plan. This support is provided at the Hamlin Rehabilitation and Reintegration centre - Desta Mender. 

Opened in 2002, Desta Mender - which means Joy Village in Amharic - is home to both short and long-term fistula patients. Women here receive the nurture and renewal they need to recover their identity and place in their community. For these women who have been shunned from society, this rehabilitation program is a critical aspect of rebuilding self-belief and equipping women to live independently, with dignity and choices. 

You can empower women to lead lives of dignity.

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.
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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.