Exclusively supporting the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
and the Hamlin College of Midwives
Wholehearted commitment to women with childbirth injuries, with God's love and compassion
Further Information and Points of Interest
Ethiopia (often known outside the country as "Abyssinia") is a land-locked country and largely isolated. It is one of the oldest Christian countries, converted in the 4th Century. There are 83 languages spoken (and about 250 dialects) but the main one is Amharic.
The principal river is the Blue Nile but it is not used for navigation as it is a torrent in the rainy season and a trickle in the dry season. The terrain is extremely difficult as it is very mountainous. Only a few major roads are all-weather and the rest are dry-season roads. There is a single railway line - from Addis Ababa to Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden.
In Ethiopia, 25% of women die in pregnancy-related complications and 8% die in obstructed labour. In the developed world, these same women would be properly treated and emerge with a healthy baby and without serious consequences to their own health.
Obstructed labour, if it doesn't result in death, often leads to a still-born child, and vaginal injuries to the mother, leaving her incontinent of urine and/or faeces. They then become outcasts in their societies. They arrive at the Fistula hospital by bus, lorry and on foot, having been abandoned by all around them but here are welcomed with love and affection. They are often in a very confused and emaciated state, dirty and unclean because of their condition.
The patients all enjoy the exterior areas of the hospital grounds. The average temperature in Addis Ababa is 70 degrees F or 21 degrees C and families live out of doors for most of the day. Rainfall is limited to the rainy season (our summer months) and this makes outdoor living the norm. Below are some photos of our patients in the hospital forecourt. As everywhere else in the world, they enjoy televsion!
All over the world, women love having their hair done! Here two patients are treating each other to some beauty time.