"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it... but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question." Anonymous

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fistual Hospital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Hamlin Fistula International

Our Hospital

A haven of healing

Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital provides care for women with childbirth injuries and has done so since 1974. It is located in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. It is the only hospital of its kind in the world dedicated exclusively to women with obstetric fistula – a condition common in the developing world where the maternal health provisions are poor. It treats all patients completely free of any charge.


Founded by Drs. Reginald and Catherine Hamlin both obstetrician/gynaecologists, from New Zealand and Australia respectively, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has treated over 30,000 women with a success/cure rate of over 90%. Today, the hospital provides free fistula repair surgery to approximately 2,500 women every year and cares for 50 long-term patients. Catherine Hamlin has chronicled the history of the hospital in her autobiography and she and the hospital have been the recipients of many awards and nominations

What is a Fistula?

The most devastating of all childbirth injuries

An obstetric fistula develops when the blood supply to the tissues of the vagina and bladder (and/or rectum) is cut off during prolonged, obstructed labour. The tissues die and a hole forms through which urine and/or faeces pass uncontrollably. Women who develop fistulae are often abandoned by their husbands, rejected by their communities and forced to live an isolated existence.

More than two million women live with fistula

Eradicated in the “developed” world at the end of the 19th century when caesarean section became widely available, obstetric fistula continues to plague women throughout the developing world. It is estimated that there are 100,000 new fistula cases each year, but the capacity to treat fistula is only around 6,500 per year. The United Nations Population fund (UNFPA) estimates the world’s population of fistula sufferers at more than two million.

Nerve damage and psychological trauma

The WHO has called fistula “the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth”. In addition to incontinence, a fistula victim may also have nerve damage affecting their ankles and feet. If a woman lies on her mat for a prolonged period of time, waiting for the urine to dry, she may also develop contractions of the joints of her legs, as her muscles and tendons shorten from lack of use, and be unable to walk. Fistula victims also suffer profound psychological trauma resulting from their utter loss of status and dignity.

How to Help

Patients enjoying the sun outside the main ward
The Fistula Hospital is delighted that so many people want to help us in our work to cure and prevent obstetric fistula. The main way in which you can help us is to make a donation. Additionally you can contact one of our Partner Trusts who have merchandise for sale, can provide you with materials for fund-raising, can keep you informed of our work and may be able to accept offers of voluntary assistance.

Dear Cooper Friends,
Tim and I plan to deliver Adult Disposable Briefs to the woman at the Fistual Hospital.  We would also love to take them some personal gifts such a perfume, hand lotion, pretty scarves, necklaces, hair bands, etc. 

If you would like to donate anything please let us know. 
Main ward seen from the Garden
Love you all,
Angi &Tim

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Current time in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

Adoption Time-line

02/02/10- Ethiopia adoption application & fee sent.

02/17/10- Accepted into America Worlds Ethiopia Program!

02/20/10- Paid initial AWAA program fee.

Start paper chase...

03/02/10- Ordered our birth certificates.

03/02/10- Spoke w/and chose GLAD as Home-Study Agency.

03/03/10- Got Angi's employeement & life ins. verification.

03/04/10- Received Tim's birth cert. in mail.

03/04/10- Went to courthouse, got Marriage Cert.

03/05/10- Received Angi's birth cert. in mail.

03/05/10- Scheduled Tim's phys. letter doctor appt.for 3/8

03/08/10- Mailed GLAD application letter & fee.

03/10/10- Ethiopia made big change- 2 trips required now.

03/11/10- Rec'd GLAD/AWAA Post Placement Agreement.

03/11/10- Rec'd Tim's Health/Life Ins. letter.

03/12/10- Jack & Annie rabie shots/Home Study Requirment

03/13/10- Rosie & Sara rabie shots.

03/21/10- Began Hague on-line required training course.

03/22/10- GLAD beginning our background checks.

03/22/10- Our HIV tests and Tim's HEP B blood draw done.

03/23/10- Tim's TB Test scheduled for 3/30/10.

03/25/10- Notary notarized all paperwork we've collected.

03/26/10- Kyla, our social work came for 1st & 2nd home visi

03/26/10- Adoption Tax Credit raised to$13,100.00! Go God!

03/27/10- Kyla finished 3rd Home Study visit.

03/27/10- Finished family photo pages.

03/30/10- Tim rescheduled TB Test until 4/6/10.

03/31/10- Picked up Tim's HEP B test results.

04/02/10- Received Archie's referance letter.

04/06/10- Tim had TB test placed.

04/06/10- Angi got bloodwork records.

04/06/10- Re-did Financial Statement/faxed to AWAA.

04/09/10- Tim's TB test results- negative :)

04/10/10- Completed Hague On-line training course.

04/10/10- Dog vaccines done.

04/20/10- Faxed Florida CPS request to FL today.

05/03/10- Had our physical visits today.

05/26/10- Angi's bloodwork drawn.

05/28/10- Angi's bloodwork result- normal.

05/28/10- Tim's bloodwork drawn & normal result.

06/01/10- Our 14th Annivesary- Renee notarized physicals!

06/07/10- Picked up our physicals & faxed to GLAD/AWAA.

06/07/10- Found out GLAD rec'd FL CPS checks 6/4/10.

06/07/10- Requested Dr. letter for Angi.

06/10/10- Picked up & faxed Dr. letter to AWAA.

06/10/10- Waiting for AWAA to approve Home Study.

06/15/10- AWAA read Home Study & requested corrections.

06/23/10- GLAD corrected and sent H.S. back to AWAA.

06/24/10- AWAA approved our Home Study!

07/01/10- Got money order for final GLAD payment.

07/01/10- Met Klya/GLAD in Vincennes, got final HomeStdy

07/02/10- Mailed I-600A application & fee.

07/09/10- Renee notarized rest of Dossier paperwork.

07/09/10- Sent 2 papers to IN State Dept.for Authentication

07/12/10- Fed-Ex package received at IN State Dept.

07/13/10- We rec'd Authenticated papers in mail!

07/14/10- Rec'd Immigration Fingerprinting appt for 8/9/10

07/23/10- Went early-Immigration/Indy. for fingerprinting.

07/26/10- Called USCIS & left msg for Immigration Officer.

07/29/10- Officer Opfer called, USCIS back-logged 3 weeks.

08/05/10- Rec'd I-171H today!Thanks Officer Opfer-speedy

08/06/10- Renee notarized new MOWA letter & I-171H.

08/06/10- Got Cashier's check to go with Dossier.

Paper chase completed!

08/06/10- Shipped Dossier to AWAA by Fed-Ex.

08/10/10- AWAA received Dossier packet.

08/13/10- AWAA approved Dossier, maybe DTE next Fri?

08/13/10- Rec'd U.S.State letter stating I-600A sent to ET!

08/19/10- AWAA Fed-Ex'd our Dossier to Ethiopia!

08/25/10- Dossier arrived in Ethiopia today!

The WAIT begins...