Ethiopia Honors Dr. Catherine Hamlin

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Dr. Catherine Hamlin at the 60th anniversary celebration of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital on May 29th, 2019. (Photo: Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation via Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: June 1st, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Dr. Catherine Hamlin, founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, has been honored with Ethiopia’s prestigious citizenship award.

PM Abiy Ahmed presented the award to Dr. Hamlin during the hospital’s 60th anniversary celebration on Wednesday, May 29th.

Since it was launched in 1974 the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, which was co-founded by Dr. Catherine and her late husband Dr. Reginald Hamlin, has treated over 60,000 women, the majority of whom have been cured and have returned to their homes to live healthy, normal lives.

Catherine and Reginald Hamlin, both gynecologists and natives of Australia and New Zealand respectively, moved to Ethiopia in 1959 to start a midwifery school at the Princess Tsehay Hospital in Addis Ababa before opening the dedicated hospital for fistula patients fifteen years later.

According to the World Health Organization, up to 100,000 women are affected worldwide by obstetric fistula — an injury during the birthing process that women with obstructive labor suffer from when they have inadequate access to medical support.

“Prime Minister Abiy commended Dr Catherine Hamlin for her tremendous work of restoring the dignity of Ethiopian women affected by obstetric fistula,” the announcement said. “He expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the care-taking role she took of the most marginalized in their time of grave need.” The PM also “bestowed an award upon Dr Catherine Hamlin on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia for her tireless contribution and together with First Lady Zinash Tayachew planted seedlings in the compound of the hospital.”

Below are photos from the event:

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