Ethiopia’s fertility rate is among the highest in the world. With less than 30% of births attended by a medical professional, women face a greater risk for obstetric fistula.

Why We Work in Ethiopia

Today Ethiopia has the third-fastest growing economy of any country of 10 million or more people, behind India and Myanmar.  Despite this promising outlook, intractable poverty continues to plague the country’s rural areas where 80% of the population resides. Ongoing ethnic conflict has displaced millions of Ethiopians. In 2018 alone, 2.9 million people were forced from their homes.

This instability has had a significant impact on Ethiopia’s women, particularly those living in rural areas, where fertility and maternal mortality rates are among the world’s highest.  All the risk factors for fistula are present, including the practice of early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and a scarcity of maternal health services. Less than 30% of births are attended by a skilled medical professional. 

A USAID study found that an estimated 36,000 to 39,000 women in Ethiopia live with obstetric fistula, and over 3,000 additional new cases occur each year. 

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build Ethiopia’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We identify local surgical teams in Ethiopia already successfully treating women with fistula—and then work to amplify their efforts. 

Who are our current partners?

Healing Hands of Joy

  • Location: Mekelle, Bahir Dar, and Hawassa
  • Partner Since: 2019

Village Health Partnership

  • Location: Aira
  • Partner Since: 2019
Who are our past partners?

Aira Hospital

  • Location: Aira
  • Partner In: 2010 – 2016

Hamlin Fistula Hospital

  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Partner In: 2008 – 2016

Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International)

  • Location: Jimma, Gondar, and Assella
  • Partner In: 2011 – 2015


How much funding have we granted?

Below are funding totals since the start of each partnership.

Current Partners

  • Healing Hands of Joy: $240,091
  • Village Health Partnership: $81,560

Past Partners

  • Aira Hospital: $110,225
  • Hamlin Fistula Hospital: $6,662,994
  • Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International): $616,041

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