About Hamlin Fistula UK

Hamlin Fistula UK is a registered UK charity dedicated to the treatment and prevention of childbirth injuries in Ethiopia.  

We are part of the Hamlin family of charities, which was founded by pioneering surgeons Dr Reg Hamlin OBE and Dr Catherine Hamlin AC in Ethiopia.

Catherine and Reg were in Ethiopia to train midwives when they first discovered the overwhelming numbers of women suffering the terrible plight of fistula, and realised that little to nothing was being done to help them. 

They established the first Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia in Addis Ababa to help women in need.

We were founded in 1968 when Dr. Catherine Hamlin visited the UK to speak about the devastating impact of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia at Birmingham University. Our founders Harold Burnett and Professor Hugh Maclaren subsequently established Hamlin Fistula UK to raise funds and awareness to support the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. 

Reaching across Ethiopia

Today the organisation in Ethiopia has expanded and includes six regional hospitals, the Hamlin College of Midwives and Desta Mender, a rehabilitation centre for long-term patients. To date, Hamlin has treated over 70,000 women and all our centres are run sustainably in liaison with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

However there remain many gaps in maternal health service provision in Ethiopia and our support is vital to strengthening access to life changing care for thousands of women. 

We believe in a world without maternal death, birth injuries or obstetric fistula, and support Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia to work towards this vision. 

Find out more in our 2023-24 programme overview:

My dream is to eradicate obstetric fistula. I won’t do this in my lifetime, but you can in yours

Dr. Catherine Hamlin