Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Aussie who Changed Ethiopia, has Died Age 96 1

By: Clare Bruce

Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Australian woman who changed the face of Ethiopia with her dream of eradicating obstetric fistula in that nation, has died Wednesday at her home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation has posted the following announcement:

In loving memory, Dr Catherine Hamlin AC, 1924 - 2020 It is with great sadness that we are writing this post. Dr Catherine Hamlin, co-founder of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, passed away peacefully at her home on the grounds of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia on Wednesday March 18th, 2020. She was 96 years old. It is a very sad time for those who knew Catherine – her family, her patients, her colleagues and her thousands of supporters around the world. In this time of sorrow, we reflect upon her life and celebrate it for what it was: a gift to some of the world’s most vulnerable women. Catherine was always grateful to those who supported her dream of eradicating obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, Catherine’s incredible life's work would not have been possible.

Obstetric fistula is a condition that causes women to be socially ostracised after birth – it is a tear in the birth canal, leaving women leaking urine and sometimes faeces. They often become social outcasts, rejected by family and unable to participate in community life.

Reg and Catherine Hamlin’s dedicated work repairing obstetric fistulas has given many thousands of Ethiopian women a chance to experience a normal life again. Their hospital has trained many surgeons from all over the world in the condition, multiplying the impact of Catherine’s work across the globe.

Dr Catherine Hamlin became famous for her work through the book, The Hospital By the River.


Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Aussie who Changed Ethiopia, has Died Age 96 2

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Clare is a digital journalist for the Broadcast Industry.