ADDIS ABABA―The United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA), an official non-profit, non-government, membership-based, organization working on behalf of the United Nations core body in Australia, will be recognizing and honoring Dr Catherine Hamlin, the founder of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia and Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital, with the ‘UNAA Lifework Award 2017’ on August 25, 2017 in Sidney, Australia.
Dr Catherine Hamlin will be receiving a “Lifework Award” in the ‘Individual’ category, along with Mrs. Gabi Hollows, Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation. The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is to receive the award in the ‘Community’ category.
According to the Organization’s website, the purpose of UNAA Peace Program “Lifework Award” is to recognize ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Further, the recognition is a tangible acknowledgement of the long history of dedication men and women have demonstrated working in positive ways for peace, justice, harmony and community spirit at grass roots level as well as contributing towards the betterment of mankind through industry, enterprise and community service.
UNAA recognized Dr Hamlin for “dedicating her life and work to restoring the health and dignity of more than 50,000 Ethiopian women who have survived a horrendous and preventable childbirth injury – obstetric fistula. Together, with her husband, [Dr. Reginald Hamlin], Dr. Hamlin has dramatically transformed the maternal healthcare landscape for the women of Ethiopia.”
A gynaecologist/obstetrician by profession, Dr Hamlin spent most of her life (more than 60 years) in Ethiopia and has played a significant role in the care of a childbirth injury named obstetric fistula, which occurs when the baby gets stuck in the birth canal and there is no doctor to perform a cesarean section.
The New York Times’ journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas D. Kristof once called Dr Hamlin “21st-century Mother Teresa” for extraordinary contributions she made for Ethiopian women. Dr Hamlin showed the whole nation (later, other countries replicated) that it is possible to repair obstetric fistula cheaply.
The award ceremony will be held on August 25, 2017 at Union University and Schools Club in Sidney, Australia and Dr. Hamlin’s representative from Hamlin Fistula will attend the event to receive the award on behalf of Dr Hamlin – as she resides in Ethiopia.
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