Posted on

We met Tewe on a recent visit to Hamlin’s Yirgalem Regional Fistula Hospital in Southern Ethiopia, where she was returning for follow up stoma treatment, accompanied by her little baby.

Tewe, 30, is from the tiny village of Gofa in Southern Ethiopia, over 300 kms from Yirgalem. She has been on a long journey to regain her health after suffering a double fistula.

Tewe had laboured at home for four days before her family, who knew nothing about birth complications, took her to a government hospital. Tragically her baby was stillborn and she had endured a double fistula. The government hospital did not have specialist staff and she stayed there for two weeks, in agony and leaking uncontrollably, before they sent her home where she stayed for seven months.

Her husband initially stayed with her, but she was so depressed by her incontinence that she divorced him and struggled alone, unable to support herself.

Life changing treatment

Eventually, she visited a different government hospital and was referred to Yirgalem Regional Fistula Hospital, where she finally found understanding, care and the specialist treatment she so desperately needed. Her fistula injuries were so bad she stayed at Yirgalem for two months while she had reconstructive surgery.

She then spent a further five months in Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Hospital, followed by seven months at Hamlin’s rehabilitation centre Desta Mender. In all this time, no family visited her – the journey cost was impossible for them and she explained to us her friends were the hospital staff.

Finding strength

After her treatment she was able to return home, re-marry and start her own business. She recently became pregnant again and was supported at Yirgalem to receive a safe planned caesarean section surgery and now has a healthy baby boy. Meeting Tewe now, it is clear her life has been transformed and she has renewed strength.

When I found out I was finally cured I was so happy. Now I can dream about my future again

Tewe, Fistula patient
Tewe and her baby

Recent News

Welcoming Baroness Blackstone, our new Patron

1st September 2021

Welcoming Baroness Blackstone, our new Patron  We are delighted to introduce you to Hamlin Fistula UK’s new Patron, Baroness Tessa Blackstone. Baroness Blackstone is a leading advocate for…

Remembering our founder: Catherine Hamlin 1924 – 2020

19th March 2020

Dr Catherine HamlinJanuary 24th 1924 – March 18th 2020 It is with deep sadness we share the news of the passing of Dr Catherine Hamlin,…

UK members of parliament visit Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia

3rd June 2024

UK members of parliament visit Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia The team at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia were delighted to welcome a delegation from the UK All Party…

New research finds obstetric fistula surgery achieves high impact at low cost

3rd May 2024

New research finds obstetric fistula surgery achieves high impact at low cost New peer-reviewed research conducted by the US-based Fistula Foundation, has highlighted just how…

Exciting expansion of the College of Midwives

26th April 2024

Exciting expansion of the College of Midwives The Hamlin College of Midwives is undergoing a major expansion to include a new lecture hall, laboratory, classrooms,…