With International Women’s Day on next week’s horizon, we want to share with you information about who we are raising money for in Canowindra and why.
For a population of almost 100 million, Ethiopia has less than 200 obstetrician/gynaecologists and less than 5,000 trained midwives. A woman dies every two minutes from pregnancy and childbirth related complications. If a rural woman is among the 5% of women worldwide who face obstructed labour, they will be in agony for days. They almost always lose their baby and suffer horrific internal damage – sometimes the bladder is completely destroyed. They leak constantly and are pushed to the edge of their society, too filthy to be part of village life and considered a curse. But there is hope. In the Ethiopian capital, there is a hospital especially for patients such as these. The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and its five regional hospitals treat obstetric fistula patients free of charge, thanks to the generosity of donors to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia), which is the charity we are supporting. The charity was formed by Australian obstetrician-gynaecologist, Dr Catherine Hamlin AC who is also the co-founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Hamlin College of Midwives. In the 1950s Catherine and her late husband Reg went to Ethiopia to train midwives, but their attention soon turned to the plight of the fistula sufferers. Together the Hamlins perfected the modern technique for obstetric fistula surgery and have treated over 40,000 women, more than 90% of them cured. Join us on the 5th March to support these women.