Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Trip to Fitsula Hospital by Chantelle Zei

I had read about the Fistula Hospital in the book ‘The hospital by the river’, and since doing so had always promised that if I was in Ethiopia I would arrange to visit. I got this chance when I was in Ethiopia in January and headed out to the hospital which is situated around 20kms from Addis Ababa.
The fistula is a birthing complication that arises when the mother is unable to give birth for one reason or another and often after many days in labour, due to the baby resting on the bladder, a hole is formed named a fistula on the uterus wall. This causes the woman to constantly leak urine and without treatment will continue to do so for the rest of her life.
Catherine Hamlin and her husband Reg, trained medical doctors, built and set up the first and only hospital dedicated entirely to Fistulas in Addis Ababa.
For a hospital that deals with such a desperate and debilitation physical condition it is such a calm and serene place to be in. The grounds are beautiful with lush gardens and tall trees and amongst it are the hospital wards, surgical facilities and rehabilitation rooms. By pure luck and chance I was shown around the hospital grounds by the CEO of the Fistula Hospital, Mr Mark Bennett.
I was shown the medical wards, housing areas, kitchen, surgical rooms, and rehabilitation facilities and also got the chance to meet many of the amazing staff at the fistula hospital.
This hospital is truly remarkable as it not only caters for the surgery and after care of the patients but also the care that many of the severely ill and physically weak women require prior to surgery. It also provides permanent housing for the patients who can not be fully cured and is expanding its services to open a new hospital in another town in Ethiopia, as well as expanding a mid wife training course for women living in rural Ethiopia.
To be shown the grounds of the Fistula Hospital was a humbling experience and once again affirmed to me the amazing work that can be achieved with will and determination.

1 comment:

Seth said...

Great post! Lucky you got the tour from MArk. He is a super guy! I run an international NGO focused on obstetric fistula. Check out www.operationof.org