Staff Visited Hamlin Fistula Hospital and Its Service Centers

Staff Visited Hamlin Fistula Hospital and Its Service Centers

EGST staff visited Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, “Desta Mender” (Joy Village) Rehabilitation Centre of the hospital and Hamlin College of Midwives in Tetak area on January 25, 2019.

The visit was organized by Church and Community Leaders Training Project (CLTP) as part of awareness raising scheme for community services.  CLTP Officer, Mr Fitsum Zelalem said that “the trip is organized to share experience from like-minded institutions committed to serving church and the society. EGST is implementing its social responsibilities in many ways, including the improvement of gender issues and creating awareness on gender-based violence (GBV). Hence, the visit would increase the staff awareness and enhance partnership in the development work of communities.”

According to Mr. Aschalew, Communication Officer of the hospital, “Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (HFE) is a non-profit organization committed to three pillars of treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of victims of obstetric fistula. Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who celebrated her 95th birthday a day, founded the hospital in 1974 with her late husband Dr. Reginald Hamlin. Though she is in her old ages, she believes that Fistula should and will be eradicated from Ethiopia in her lifetime or later. It is to be recalled that the Ethiopian government targets to eradicate Fistula in 2020.  The hospital has treated more than 50,000 fistula patients and reintegrated the majority of them back into their communities.”

It is recalled that Hamlin has five outreach fistula hospitals in Mekle, Bahir Dar, Mettu, Yirgalem and Harar.

The visit was organized by Church and Community Leaders Training Project (CLTP) as part of awareness raising scheme for community services.  CLTP Officer, Mr Fitsum Zelalem said that “the trip is organized to share experience from like-minded institutions committed to serving church and the society. EGST is implementing its social responsibilities in many ways, including the improvement of gender issues and creating awareness on gender-based violence (GBV). Hence, the visit would increase the staff awareness and enhance partnership in the development work of communities.”

According to Mr. Aschalew, Communication Officer of the hospital, “Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (HFE) is a non-profit organization committed to three pillars of treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of victims of obstetric fistula. Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who celebrated her 95th birthday a day, founded the hospital in 1974 with her late husband Dr. Reginald Hamlin. Though she is in her old ages, she believes that Fistula should and will be eradicated from Ethiopia in her lifetime or later. It is to be recalled that the Ethiopian government targets to eradicate Fistula in 2020.  The hospital has treated more than 50,000 fistula patients and reintegrated the majority of them back into their communities.”

It is recalled that Hamlin has five outreach fistula hospitals in Mekle, Bahir Dar, Mettu, Yirgalem and Harar.

Tsion Berhanu, a Facility Manager here at EGST expressed her impression that ‘as Ethiopians, we need to carry out our own responsibilities to our society and not wait for outsiders to give us a solution. The community development works are often time driven by foreign individuals or aid organizations, however, we need to ask, ‘what have we done for our country’.

Shewaye Wolde, Supervisor for Cleaners at EGST expressed her mixed feelings by the field visit. On one hand, she is joyful and at the same time she feels down because of the magnitude of the pain and suffering of Ethiopian mothers undergoing fistula. She said, ‘the fellowship and unity of the staff is the main highlight of her day, and that she is grateful to the organizers of the visit. She is willing to give support with anything she can afford in the future.’ After the field visit, EGST team pledged to take part in expressing their love and kindness after discussion.

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