Hamlin Fistula Japan was first started by Michiko Nakayama, MPH, its current Founding Director, in May 2005. It was originally called Fistula Japan. Fistula Japan is renamed Hamlin Fistula Japan since 2008 September in response to the Hamlin Fistula International Group mutual decision for a unified marketing strategy.
Michiko Nakayama experienced difficult birth in 2004, and was asked by the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to start Asia's first supporting organization for the hospital when she contacted them in deep sympathy.
Obstetric Fistula is a hole that develops in the vaginal walls, often from prolonged obstructed birth. The head of the infant puts pressure when medical intervention is not available, and results in stillbirth in many instances. The mother loses the baby and is left incontinent due to the hole connecting to the bladder, rectum or both.
Violence especially in war zones is often another way that a woman or girl is left with this chronic condition.
Obstetric Fistula may be observed in rural parts of many sub-Saharan African countries, some Middle Eastern countries, and Asian countries. Women in dvanced countries such as Japan probably experienced this a century ago. Proper medical intervention and peace would easily make this condition obsolete.
WHO estimates patients to be about 2 million around the world and growing. Dropfoot and infections are often side complications.
Obstetric Fistula can be cured for a relatively small amount of money. 300 to 500 USD would most likely cover 2 weeks of hospitalization, the surgery, some physical training on top of the boarding. The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital's current success rate for surgery is higher than 90%.
Most women may get pregnant and have other babies, preferably by a ceasarian section. Without treatment, a woman's life could get very, very, undignified.
Hamlin Fistula Japan was and continues to be Japan's first and only patient support organization for women with Obstetric Fistula. It is part of the Hamlin Fistula International Group and designates all of its fundraising efforts in order to support the activities of the group's flagship hospital, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.
Hamlin Fistula Japan's missions are severalfold.
1)raise awareness within Japan for OF patients
OF was practically unknown within domestic circles even within medical professionals and overseas asssitance groups. Hamlin Fistula Japan promotes the need for support of OF patients.
2)fundraising within Japan
Japan as a member of the OECD has a leading role to play within international assistance. Japan was a grantee of international assistance after World War II and can play its role to reciprocate.
3)getting the voice out for Japan
Japan's representative position within this area is not large and there is a need to be represented appropriately.
4)to offer to bridge the gaps between Africa and Asia
Asia is well under way for development, but some areas still suffer. There is very little recognition that there are women with OF within Asia in need of assistance. Hamlin Fistula Japan, as the only Asian member within the Hamlin Fistula International Group, would like to help Asian coutries in need to gain support through us.
Detailed Japanese discriptions of our activities can be found from here. Due to the fact that at this time Hamlin Fistula Japan focuses mostly on generating interest and awareness within Japan, most of its promotional activities will be conducted in Japanese. For English descriptions about the Hamlin International Group, please visit the Group's English website.
If you would like to make a donation, please make postal remittances through the Yubin Furikae to;
Hamlin Fistula Japan
c/o Maripoza Co., Ltd.
1-23-13, Higashi-Izumi, Komae-Shi, Tokyo 201-0014, Japan
email: info%fistula-japan.org (substitute % with @)