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.
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.
Obstetric fistula is a source of shame, stigma, and despair for millions of women. But US politics will inevitably play a role in whether it can be effectively addressed.
It’s been said that in an unequal world, women are the most unequal among equals. Obstetric fistula is a living example of this statement.
Awatif is from Darfur, Sudan and is a survivor of fistula who turned her own suffering and ultimate good fortune into a quest to help other women.
Newly elected Republicans around the country are hard at work dealing with the troubles afflicting our nation…access to abortion for women; The “Birthornot.com” couple makes a shocking decision; and surgeons gather from around the globe to address an entirely preventable and treatable childbirth-caused condition called obstetric fistula.
Nigeria has the highest obstetric fistula prevalence rates in Africa and an estimated 400, 000 to 800, 000 women suffer from fistula in Nigeria. It is common in countries with high maternal mortality rate like Nigeria; where lifetime risk of a woman dying during childbirth is 1 in 18.
Pakistani specialists say fistula can be prevented by stopping early marriages, delaying the age of first pregnancy and by timely access to good emergency obstetric care — but education is also key.
We all arrive through pregnancy. You’d think with this kind of reputation, prioritizing maternal health might be a no-brainer for governments. What about the United States? Will our presidential candidates address the plight of mothers worldwide in the first debate?
At the dawn of a new year, women around the world still rely on crucial funds from UNFPA for health care and family planning. But our current administration continues to withhold the money.