Demise of Gem Person Catherine Hamlin Huge Loss for Ethiopians, Says Health Minister

Addis Ababa, March 20/2020( ENA) Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse, who worked as an obstetrician with the late Dr. Catherine Hamlin, described her as one of the most energetic, optimist and empathetic persons for Ethiopian women, while Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted upon hearing her demise that the country lost a “gem person.”

The 96-year-old Dr. Catherine Hamlin was born in Australia, graduated from the University of Sydney in 1946, and came to Ethiopia to work as a trainer of midwives; where she finally opened the doors of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital with her late husband in 1974.

The Hamlins came to Ethiopia for another duty when they were young. However, they changed their minds and decided to help women who have suffered from obstetric fistula.

Thousands of women in Ethiopia suffer from obstetric fistula an internal injury caused by a prolonged, unrelieved obstructed labor, which leaves them incontinent, humiliated and cut off from their communities.

The Health minister stated that Dr. Hamlin mostly spent a good part of her entire life in pursuit of impacting the lives and health of women in Ethiopia.

Over the past 61 years, more than 60,000 Ethiopian women have received life-changing reconstructive surgery for obstetric fistula.

Dr. Lia noted that she was a true mother for Ethiopian women; her passionate commitment to maternal healthcare has brought tremendous improvement in the health sector of the country over the past 60 years.

“Hamlin had an extraordinary journey of humanitarian support that saved many Ethiopian women who were the most marginalized in their time of grave need,” the minister underscored.

According to her, Ethiopians in general and Ethiopian women in particular will never forget Hamlin’s passionate commitment to women and maternal health treatment, something an astonishing humanity endeavor to mend this obstetric fistula trauma.

Dr. Hamlin’s efforts have resulted in both attitudinal change and medical improvement in obstetric fistula, curing “many of our humiliated and women cut off from their communities due to this.”

The minister added that the Dr. Hamlin traveled many times to mobilized funds from different financial institutions around the world in order to realize her vision of strong medical treatment in maternal health.

The late Dr. Catherine Hamlin and her late husband Dr. Reg Hamlin had established other treatment centers for women suffering from the debilitating effects of obstetric fistula, a crippling condition that results from complications in childbirth too.

Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a healthcare network of over 550 Ethiopian staff servicing six hospitals, including the Desta Mender Rehabilitation Center, the Hamlin College of Midwives and 80 Hamlin supported midwifery clinics.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency