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Obstetric Fistula 18 August 2009
The hospital in Ethiopia at the forefront of eradication

In Africa tens of thousands of women fall victim to obstetric fistula where after obstructed labour, the baby’s skull rubs a hole through the mothers bladder or rectum. It’s a condition rarely seen in the developed world where it is treated by caesarean section. But in countries like Ethiopia, poverty, lack of education and the remoteness of many villages prevent many women from accessing treatment. Up to 9,000 new cases of fistula are seen every year in Ethiopia but a hospital in Addis Ababa is at the forefront of treatment. Its founder is a pioneering gynaecologist Dr Catherine Hamlin who, though now 85, still makes her ward rounds, as Kati Whitaker discovered on a recent visit to the hospital.

Fistula Foundation
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