Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation

Mamitu: From Fistula Patient to World-renowned Fistula Surgeon Dr Catherine Hamlin and Mamitu Gashe were family. They were also a formidable team for almost 60 years. Together they changed the lives of thousands of women with fistula injuries, and trained hundreds of fistula surgeons from all over the world, in their fight to eradicate obstetric fistula. Mamitu came to the hospital as a patient in 1962 at the age of 16 with a horrific fistula injury. She was so grateful for the care she received that she decided to dedicate her life to Catherine and Reg’s mission - helping other women with fistula. Catherine and Reg saw something special in Mamitu. Under their skilled guidance, Mamitu went from mopping floors and comforting her fellow patients to becoming one of the most acclaimed fistula surgeons in the world. Mamitu was recently listed as #32 on the BBC’s global list of 100 Inspirational Women. Mamitu has a special love and empathy for the patients. Catherine use to say she saw Mamitu many times with tears in her eyes as she welcomed patients to Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, where she still works as a fistula surgeon today. Mamitu’s inspiring story and the lifelong friendship of Catherine and Mamitu has been captured in a book written by award-winning journalist and author Sue Williams. Learn more on next page.

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