Image courtesy of Hamlin Fistula Hospital. This baby was born at the Hamlin Hospital
In third world countries where young, under nourished, or circumcised women are trying to give birth they experience an injury called a fistula. It's a tear of their urethra, and / or rectum that results in them constantly leaking urine or faeces. Most of the time their babies die during the birth and then because of the terrible smell of someone who is constantly leaking bodily fluids they become outcasts in their village.
Cathryn Hamlin (who has just turned 91) was married to an obstetrician who pioneered the surgery that can repair it and give these women back their lives. They are Australian. Her husband has been dead for many years now, but Cathryn has continued to help women, at no cost to them. She started a hospital in Ethiopia where women can access not only the surgery for repair, but also free caesareans for subsequent births.
They provide the women with free blankets (made by volunteers all over the world) free clothes and shoes, and help them to get home to their villages, no matter how remote. They also have a bus that travels around helping women to get to the hospital.
Yes, I have heard of the splendid work they do. When I first heard the stories of some of the women who come to this hospital when Cathryn was invited to the Oprah show, I couldn't believe how cruelly they were treated by the society. Some women walk for miles with bare feet to get to the hospital. We need so many more of Cathryn Hamlins in this world.