As many of our supporters will be aware Ethiopia has been in a period of civil unrest since November 2020, centred in the country’s far northern region of Tigray. More recently, this spread to neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions. Conflict between Ethiopian Federal Government forces and forces aligned with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has impacted the lives of people across the region.
Throughout the year, our dedicated teams of health professionals at five Hamlin Fistula Hospitals across the country have continued to deliver services normally, including at Yirgalem in Southern Ethiopia which is fully funded by Hamlin Fistula UK.
We have had to scale back some community outreach work in certain areas of the country where movement is difficult, but despite these challenges our teams have managed to exceed our surgery targets for the year by 12%. You can read more about our achievements last year in our new 2021 annual review.
However, our hospital in the Tigray region, the Mekelle Hamlin Fistula Hospital, has unfortunately been affected and is currently temporarily closed. We are monitoring the situation closely and are provided with frequent updates from our colleagues at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia through regular phone calls and emails with the CEO and other staff.
Our founders Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin opened the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in 1974 and since then the country has been through many upheavals. Throughout this time Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has continued to provide surgical treatment and care to some of the world’s most vulnerable women. This work carries on today, with Hamlin staff dedicated to tackling fistula and childbirth injuries across Ethiopia.
Your support is appreciated now more than ever.
A sad outcome of the conflict in Tigray is likely to be an increase in obstetric fistulas, as women in affected areas will have been unable to access the quality maternal healthcare services they need. This year Hamlin is aiming to treat nearly 3,000 women across Ethiopia. We are only able to do this because of you, our amazing supporters.
Thank you for your generous support.