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Project Zero pilot completes initial phase

The pilot of Project Zero – Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s impactful new programme to accelerate end of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia – has completed its initial phase of work with great success and new learning generated.

In Ale Woreda (district), with an estimated population of 85,408 people, teams of Hamlin-trained community volunteers and 343 health extension workers carried out a total of 14,664 house-to-house surveys across 24 weeks. Most household members had not heard about obstetric fistula before and were eager to learn more about it.

A woman reads a Project Zero leaflet n the market of Ale woreda

Seven women with decades-long fistula injuries and 56 women with Advanced Pelvic Organ Prolapse were identified and transported to Hamlin’s Metu Fistula Hospital for life-changing surgery. Many of these women had lived in social isolation for decades and they also received rehabilitation support.

A patient arrives at Metu Hospital for treatment thanks to Project Zero

Using learnings from the initial pilot and with significant support from local and regional health bureau, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the next phase of Project Zero activity recently began in Didessa Woreda, with rollouts planned for further woredas throughout the year.

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