Organization Spotlight ~ Worldwide Fistula Fund
In the past we’ve focused the Organization Spotlight on maternal health, and today we wanted to continue on with the subject and bring attention to The Worldwide Fistula Fund – an organization focusing on obstetric fistula treatment.
Have you ever heard the term “obstetric fistula”? In developed countries, you don’t hear much about it with our modern medical interventions, though it is a common condition that affects approximately 130,000 mothers every year in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The term obstetric fistula describes a condition that normally would develop “during prolonged or obstructed labor when the baby’s head is pressed into the mother’s pelvis.” Fistula describes an “abnormal connection between two body organs or cavities”. A woman who experiences this through childbirth will likely live with incontinence, recurrent infections, infertility, and the situation could become much worse resulting in death.
Approximately 3,000,000 women in Sub-Saharan Africa are thought to be living with this condition. And from the knowledge that we have about the role of the women in many of these developing countries, we can be certain that the physical body is not the only aspect which is affected.
Currently The Worldwide Fistula Fund is concentrating on providing services in the southern region of Niger, one of the worlds poorest and most underdeveloped countries. It is estimated that tens of thousands of women in Niger are suffering from this condition on a daily basis.
Inside of new facility in Danja (Source)
Through training of surgeons, advocating for women who have obstetric fistula, and encouraging scientific based research on the treatment and prevention of fistulas, The Worldwide Fistula Fund is promoting comprehensive care for women with this condition ultimately seeking to provide high quality medical care.
It is true that fistula surgery is described as challenging, however, despite limited technology in the region, surgeries which cost approximately $450 have been performed with success. The surgery is said to be relatively quick, and has a short recovery time.
According to The Worldwide Fistula Fund, fistula surgery can “change the course of a woman’s entire life” speaking to the importance of their continued work in this community.
To learn more about The Worldwide Fistula Fund, or to make a donation visit them on their website here and follow them on Twitter @FistulaFund or check out their Facebook page where you can see photos of their new clinic in Niger!