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We are excited to introduce you to our amazing team of #HealthHeroes in Ethiopia.

These individuals are providing life-changing support for women who have suffered devastating childbirth injuries including fistula, during the pandemic and before.

Third in our #MeetTheTeam campaign – Melaku Tilahun, Pharmacist at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital explains how his work ensuring a regular and reliable supply of medication touches patients across their entire time at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.


“There isn’t one point in the pathway of care for patients at Hamlin where the pharmacy isn’t needed – what we have here is make or break for our patients” Melaku tells us as the Hamlin Fistula UK team visit him in the pharmacy he oversees at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

Melaku, pictured above, has worked at Hamlin for 12 years ensuring that the hospital has the drugs and medical consumables it needs to provide quality care for over 700 women a year in Addis Ababa alone.

‘’There isn’t one point in the pathway of care for patients at Hamlin where the pharmacy isn’t needed – what we have here is make or break for our patients’’

Melaku Tilahun, Pharmacist at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital

Before joining Hamlin, Melaku, who studied at the School of Pharmacy at Addis Ababa University, worked for three years at Yekatit 12 Hospital – which in the past was Ethiopia’s Royal Hospital that treated Haile Selassie.

His expertise is a vital contribution to the excellent surgical success rates for women with childbirth injuries at the hospital and for ensuring compliance with municipality regulations and requirements for healthcare services.

A number of the items Hamlin’s pharmacy needs have to be sourced internationally, including stoma care products for patients living with stoma. Melaku works hard to make sure orders are made seamlessly and his strong relationships with customs and key partner organisations is clear. Melaku also works closely with pharmacists based at each of Hamlin’s five regional fistula hospitals to ensure the have what they need.

A consignment of medical supplies arrives at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
A consignment of medical supplies arrives at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital

Melaku’s space in the pharmacy is modest and looking ahead a new store is planned in the hospital buildings which he is looking forward to moving into. It’s clear the patients are Melaku’s priority and before long our time with him is up, he has a busy day ahead.

Melaku Tilahun, Pharmacist at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
Melaku in the pharmacy at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital

During 2020-21, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia will undertake over 1,300 surgeries for women with childbirth injuries. To maintain our vital services, we need to ensure a regular and reliable supply of medical consumables, drugs and essential equipment. To support Melaku’s work, please donate today.


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