Gynaecologists Catherine and Reg Hamlin left Australia in 1959 on a short contract to establish a midwifery school in Ethiopia. Over 40 years later, Catherine is still there, running one of the most outstanding medical programmes in the world. The Hamlins dedicated their lives to women suffering the catastrophic effects of obstructed labour. The awful injuries that such labour produces are called fistulae, and until the Hamlins began their work in Ethiopia, fistula sufferers were neglected and forgotten a vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity and degradation. Catherine and Reg, with their team of dedicated fistula surgeons, have successfully operated on over 25,000 women, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the hospital they opened in 1974, has become a major teaching institution for gynaecologists from all over Ethiopia and the developing world. Since Reg's death, Catherine and her team have continued the work.
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