Christmas Appeal 2022:
The road to new beginnings for women with fistula

In December 2022 Hamlin Fistula UK took part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022, the UK’s largest matched-funding campaign, with our appeal The road to new beginnings for women with fistula to support Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme to find, treat and care for women living with untreated childbirth injuries in rural Ethiopia.

Thanks to the huge generosity of our supporters and match funders, we beat our initial goal and raised an amazing £34,000!

This funding will make a vital difference to Hamlin’s work to prevent and treat childbirth injuries and will help us identify and care for up to 150 women in Southern Ethiopia in the year ahead who are in need of support. 

About Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme

When you live a three-hour walk away from the nearest town, in a village with no electricity, accessing health services is not easy. Yet this is the reality for pregnant women in rural Ethiopia.

Whilst progress has been made in recent years, 70% of women in Ethiopia still give birth without a doctor or nurse present. This can result in devastating childbirth injuries including fistula. Too many women in rural areas are suffering with untreated fistula, not knowing help is available. We are working to change this.

Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme works to ensure vulnerable women in remote areas of Ethiopia suffering with childbirth injuries are found, treated and cared for.

Hamlin Patient Identification Officers, like Mohammed pictured above, identify and transport hundreds of women in remote communities who have been suffering with untreated fistula to their nearest Hamlin hospital each year. Once there they receive life changing treatment and are able to go back to their families and communities as changed women – healthy, happy and full of life.

Women like Amina, pictured, who when Hamlin’s Patient Identification Officer Mohammed found her, had been living with her injury for 25 years. A cure seemed like a long-lost dream to Amina. But once she arrived at the Hamlin hospital, her hopes were renewed and she was given life changing reconstructive fistula surgery. She told us: “This is an amazing place. For me, the motherly care and love is restorative. My first surgery was successful and at last I am cured of my incontinence after 25 years. Thank you.”

This year our remarkable Patient Identification Officers are doing vital work searching rural communities to find women with fistula and get them the treatment they need.

Your generosity will enable our surgeons to treat even more women – helping them on the road to a new beginning.

Thank you to our five match funders for the appeal – The Reed Foundation, three charitable foundations and St Mary’s Risborough, whose matching funds will help us raise even more for women in Ethiopia.