Pregnancy shouldn’t leave a woman with a disability and ostracized from her community. And Congress should ensure investments for the more than two million women worldwide that have obstetric fistula.
There is global consensus on the need for improved access to quality and sustainable fistula care and training services; postoperative social-reintegration services; additional research and consistent allocation of resources for this cause.
As demand for repair grows, there is an urgent need for development of a standard of care for training skilled fistula surgeons.
Citizen volunteers are at the front lines of a community-driven initiative for saving lives and preserving health for women in Kissidougou.
In addressing obstetric fistula, there is a tendency to emphasize the treatment side. But while fistula treatment is important, fistula prevention actually deals with the causes.
Providing comprehensive care for fistula survivors demands a coordinated group effort, from finding women in need of repair, to transporting them to services, to reintegration.
From Halima’s self-assured manner in the delivery room of Darfur’s Al-Fasher Hospital, an observer would never guess how far this former fistula sufferer has come.
In Kenya, as in many other countries, the health care system lacks the resources to provide care to those who need it, and patients also have few means for exercising their rights.
The Kenyan state denies fistula sufferers their rights to the highest attainable standard of health and to a remedy for the injustices and denial of service that they face.
My name is Sarah Omega and I am a fistula survivor from Kenya. After my parents died, I was raped by a religious leader and became pregnant at age 19. A wrenching labor left me with fistula.