Elinor Catherine Hamlin (1924- )
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Elinor Catherine Hamlin founded and helped fund centers in Ethiopia to treat women affected by fistulas from obstetric complications. Obstetric fistulas develop in women who experience prolonged labor, as the pressure placed on the pelvis by the fetus during labor causes a hole, or fistula, to form between the vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal fistula) or between the vagina and the rectum (rectovaginal fistula). Both of those conditions result in urinary or fecal incontinence, which often impacts womenÍs social status within their communities. Hamlin co-founded a hospital to treat fistulas and help fund health clinics, a rehabilitation center, and a midwife school. Her work in Ethiopia helped to help train the next cohort of midwives to treat women with obstetric complications and has contributed to the health and social well-being of Ethiopian women.