"When I first met Catherine, straightaway I saw shining through the qualities and attributes which have made her one of the most loved and admired women in the world: warmth, energy, humour, optimism, vivacity, empathy, authenticity." DAME QUENTIN BRYCE The Hospital by the River has been in print since it was first published in 2001. This new edition continues the story of the remarkable Australian gynaecologist Dr Catherine Hamlin and her medical work that has transformed the lives of 45,000 Ethiopian women. Catherine travelled to Ethiopia with her husband, Reg Hamlin, in 1959 on a short contract. Now 92, Catherine is at the head of a world-recognised medical program that specialises in the treatment of labour-induced fistulas. Left untreated, fistulas - rare in Western countries - result in severe incontinence, which forces women into a life of degradation and incapacity. Catherine and her team have established six fistula hospitals, a village to accommodate patients and a midwifery school, and pioneered techniques that are used the world over.
They have won the respect of the Ethiopian government, the Nobel Committee (she has twice been nominated for the Peace Prize) and the hearts of donors around the world, including Oprah Winfrey, whose emotional interview with Catherine introduced millions to the life-threatening reality of giving birth in the Third World. Set against the harsh beauty of the Ethiopian landscape, this is a compelling account of how the determination and compassion of one woman have inspired others to create genuinely long-lasting change, not just in the lives of individual women but across a nation.
John Little's books include The Hospital by the River (with Catherine Hamlin), Maalika (with Valerie Browning), Jem, a Father's Story, Down to the Sea and Christine's Ark. He lives with his wife, Anna, and son, Tim, on Sydney's northern beaches.