Excerpt from the citation for the award:
"...for her fifty years dedicated to treating obstetric fistula patients, thereby restoring the health, hope and dignity of thousands of Africa's poorest women."
Catherine Hamlin came to Ethiopia from Australia in 1959 to work as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at a hospital in Addis Ababa. With her husband Reginald she pioneered the surgical treatment of obstetric fistula. The Hamlins built their own hospital in Addis, where women are treated free of charge. The facilities include reception hostels for the women, who come from all over the country, and a rehabilitation centre for the badly injured. They have also established regional centres to make the treatment more widely accessible and a midwifery school to help prevent obstetric fistula occurring in the first place.