Women of Ethiopia

Hos­pi­tal

Central Queensland News - - NEWS | BIG READ - Do­na­tions can be made to Hay­ley’s fundrais­ing ef­forts on her Ev­ery­day Hero link: https://ad­ven­ture-2017. ev­ery­day­hero.com/au/ ham­lin-fis­tula-ethiopia. Peo­ple are also wel­come to fol­low her Face­book page: Hay­ley’s Ethiopian Trip

the Great Ethiopian Run which is an an­nual 10km event ex­pected to at­tract 45,000 par­tic­i­pants.

“That’s a day be­fore we come home. And I hate run­ning! I’d rather swim in a pool. But I’m go­ing to try my hard­est to run the lot.”

Aims of the 17-day trip are to see where and how the money the char­ity raises is spent, and spend some time in­ter­act­ing with the pa­tients.

The big­gest part of the cam­paign, Hay­ley says, is to raise the pro­file of ob­stet­ric fis­tula be­cause if women are cured of the de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion – and it can mostly be re­paired with a sin­gle life-chang­ing surgery – they can re­turn to their homes and vil­lages.

Pa­tients, with an av­er­age age of 22, who ar­rive at a Ham­lin hos­pi­tal re­ceive a cus­tomised pro­gram in­clud­ing nu­tri­tion, phys­io­ther­apy, coun­selling and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, with the Ham­lin model of care fo­cussing on “re­pair­ing the in­jury and restor­ing dig­nity”.

The women who can’t be cured live in a vil­lage, Dester Men­der, where they can make their own in­come as they are taught skills, help run a farm and can sell crafted goods such as hand-wo­ven wraps.

While many women re­ceive treat­ment, the char­ity is also in­tent on fa­cil­i­tat­ing preven­tion. Hay­ley says in vil­lages where there are trained mid­wives, ob­stet­ric fis­tula does not ex­ist.

“With a bit of knowl­edge and a bit of ed­u­ca­tion, preven­tion can be bet­ter than cure. The Ham­lin Col­lege of Mid­wives is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant thing, and that’s run by the char­ity as well.”

The col­lege in Ethiopia cel­e­brates its 10th an­niver­sary this year and runs an in­ten­sive four-year de­gree to train mid­wives who then live in the lo­cal vil­lages. Since 2007, 125 mid­wives have grad­u­ated from the col­lege and, cur­rently, 34 ru­ral mid­wifery clin­ics are staffed by Ham­lin mid­wives.

The Ham­lin Fis­tula Ethiopia (Aus­tralia) char­ity was started on Dr Cather­ine Ham­lin’s re­quest.

The Ham­lins had first trav­elled to Ethiopia in 1959 to set up a col­lege for mid­wife train­ing, when they saw the need to help women who had suf­fered an ob­stet­ric fis­tula.

Hay­ley says her “nat­u­ral child­hood cu­rios­ity and a de­sire to help” have fu­elled her pas­sion as an adult to want to do some­thing for the dis­ad­van­taged women.

“I have al­ways loved Ham­lin’s story and found it in­spir­ing, so it only feels nat­u­ral that I try and give back.

“It has al­ways been Dr Cather­ine Ham­lin’s dream to erad­i­cate ob­stet­ric fis­tula from Ethiopia. It would be ab­so­lutely amaz­ing to achieve that,” Hay­ley says.

“I don’t think any woman de­serves to labour alone, to then have a dead baby and a life­long in­jury that with­out treat­ment leads to a life­time of os­traci­sa­tion, lack of liveli­hood and in­creased risk of in­fec­tion.”

Hay­ley says she also wants fundrais­ing ef­forts to be able to sup­port the Ham­lin Col­lege of Mid­wives.

Twenty-five-year-old Hay­ley Pig­gott will travel with a group of 18 to visit the Ad­dis Ababa Fis­tula Hos­pi­tal, which opened in 1974.

Hay­ley Pig­gott is in awe of the work of Dr Cather­ine Ham­lin, now aged 93.

Hay­ley Pig­gott will take part in the Great Ethiopian Run, an an­nual 10km event ex­pected to at­tract 45,000 par­tic­i­pants.

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