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The Hamlin Model of Care

Prevent, Treat, Rehabilitate, Equip

The Hamlin Model of Care is a world-leading approach to treating fistula and sets out how care is delivered to treat the whole woman, not just her injury.

This approach is grounded in a fundamental respect for the patient as a human being first, and a commitment to provide them with comprehensive and compassionate care, as well as address the underlying causes of obstetric fistula in her community.

Hamlin seeks to prevent and treat fistula and other childbirth injuries, as well as rehabilitate and equip women to lead lives of dignity.

Upon arrival at a Hamlin hospital, patients are embraced with tender and loving care. They are given nutritious food, a handmade woven blanket and clean clothing. A customised program is made for each woman that includes nutrition, surgery, physical therapy, counselling and rehabilitation.

Due to the stigma associated with obstetric fistula, many women cannot return to their communities, and few have an income that allows them to live independently. That’s why Dr Catherine founded Desta Mender (‘Joy Village’) in 2002 as a recovery centre where long-term fistula patients with severe injuries can continue to heal.

After 65 years, the Hamlin Model of Care remains a core part of the organisation today. Based on Dr Reg and Dr Catherine Hamlin’s values, and their leadership in best practice treatment, it is a culture instilled across the work of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Many of our 550 staff worked alongside Catherine and Reg over many years, even decades, and were greatly inspired by her passion and professionalism. In fact, many are also former fistula patients themselves.

The result is clinical excellence that does not compromise on treating every woman with compassion and dignity.

Help us give hope to every woman.

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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.