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Search for fistula integrated into national vaccination campaign

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has collaborated with Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation to integrate a search for women living with fistula into a recently launched national measles vaccination campaign.

In December 2022, Ethiopia launched an integrated measles campaign to vaccinate 15.5 million youngsters aged 9 to 59 months, including in hard-to-reach places affected by drought and conflict. The campaign consisted of searching for suspected fistula cases while conducting the immunization.

At the campaign launch, Honorable State Minister for Health Dr. Dereje Duguma called upon all parents and caregivers to actively participate during the integrated measles vaccination campaign by bringing their children for vaccination.

A child is vaccinated. Photo: WHO/Loza Mesfin

Integrating life saving services with the campaign

Other lifesaving services were integrated with the campaign, including catchup routine immunization for under-vaccinated children, nutrition services for children, identification of clubfoot in children and COVID-19 vaccination as well as identification of obstetric fistula in women.

“It is also commendable that the campaign is integrated with other live-saving interventions such as COVID-19 vaccination and nutrition services.”

Dr Paul Mainuka, Acting Head of WHO Ethiopia Immunization, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Cluster, speaking on behalf of immunization partners

Changing over 1,000 women’s lives

As a result of the campaign, the Ministry of health reported that 1,243 suspected obstetric fistula cases were identified from 12 regions.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia was involved in the discussion to verify and treat these cases. Our Patient Identification Officers have been involved in working with health professionals in the regions and women will now be referred for treatment at Hamlin hospitals.

Women in the Sidama region of Ethiopia identified to receive referrals for support through the campaign

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