Fighting Obstetric Fistula. Because Every Mother Deserves a Body That Works
MUTU System is proud to be an ongoing supporter of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. #RunningForHamlin In December 2015 I took part in the Great Ethiopian Run to raise money and awareness for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Hamlin College of Midwives. I travelled to Ethiopia with my family to visit the Hamlin Fistula Hospital and to witness the incredible work being carried out there. Check out my video below!
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a truly incredible organisation founded and run by truly incredible people. Every day they restore dignity and wellbeing to women suffering from devastating birth injuries.
When I first learned about the work of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, their work, the women they help… I connected as I know many of you will on a deep level. Because but for the sheer luck that we live where we live – that could have been us.
I had my babies in the UK – relatively complicated, assisted births with severe postpartum hemorrhage. I had all the medical assistance I required. My body had a whole lot of recovering to do, as I know many of yours do. But my precious babies and I survived and thrived. The experience inspired me to create MUTU, empowering, validating and educating women to have fully functional bodies that feel good.
But many women around the world have access to no such assistance or medical care when they give birth. And sometimes this leaves them with utterly devastating injuries. Read more on ‘What is Fistula?’ below.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia gives women specialist surgical intervention to restore the most basic level of physical function and dignity that many of us are privileged to take for granted. It treats every woman for free.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia literally puts women back together again. Awesome, awesome people.
So… I decided to take my family to ethiopia, visit the hospital and run the Great Ethiopian Run!
In November 2015 my family and I visited the hospital and the Midwifery college, meeting doctors and nurses, patients and students, we drank the best coffee in the world, hiked in the Simien mountains, rode mules up a mountain to see a monk in a cave… it was a life-changing, life-enhancing and humbling experience.
I am grateful to Sarah Hamlin, Dr Catherine’s grand-daughter, and active supporter of Hamlin Fistula UK Trust, for organizing the trip and accompanying us.
WHAT IS FISTULA?
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 labor. In the vast majority of cases, the woman gives birth to a stillborn baby.
The tissues die and a hole forms through which urine and/or feces pass uncontrollably. Women who develop fistulae are often abandoned by their husbands, rejected by their communities and forced to live an isolated existence.
Almost eradicated in the “developed” world since the end of the 19th century when caesarean section and informed medical intervention became widely available, obstetric fistula continues to plague women throughout the developing world.
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.
MUTU SYSTEM ALREADY DOES A LITTLE
MUTU System sends a regular monthly donation to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia ensuring the required surgical treatment, with all associated medical care, physical therapy and after-care, new clothing and transport home is provided for at least one more woman every month.
I am absolutely committed to continuing to send these funds every month into the future to assist this world-changing, woman-changing work.
Do leave a comment below to let me know why or how the work of this charity or related issues resonate with YOU. Thank you for your support.
Wendy Powell Dip PT, Founder and CEO of MUTU System Wendy is an author, international speaker, award winning entrepreneur, mentor and coach. Certified postpartum specialist, master trainer, and fearless leader for the whole MUTU System team. Fun Wendy Fact: When in Kenya, Wendy kissed a Giraffe. Turns out they have really long tongues. Usually Found: Walking for miles and miles with her little dog Maya
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