The Hamlins of Ethiopia and the Second Fistula Hospital
Reginald Hamlin was born in Napier, New Zealand and graduated from medical school at the University of Dunedin. He gained a University of Otago and University of New Zealand government travelling scholarship, which after war service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, took him to Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, where eventually he became medical superintendent of the busiest maternity hospital in New South Wales. The assistant superintendent was Catherine Nicholson, a graduate of Syndney University, and following their hospital term they married and moved to London. After working in the United Kingdom for a time, they spent six months at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong, returning to Australia for Reg to become superintendent at the Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia and Catherine an obstetrician on the staff. For quite a time both had felt their medical skills would be more usefully employed in countries with poor health services rather than in their own privileged countries, so in 1959 they accepted a challenging position in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, setting up a midwifery training school at the Princess Tsahai Hospital, a hospital commemorating a daughter of Haile Selassie, the Emperor, who died in childbirth in the United Kingdom following a severe postpartum hemorrhage. They travelled by ship to Aden and then by air to Addis Ababa.
KeywordsObstetric Fistula Hospital Ground Medical Skill Medical Superintendent Queen Mary Hospital
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