On International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, Kate Grant, CEO of the Fistula Foundation asks why a million women worldwide still suffer the preventable and treatable condition of fistula. Answer: lack of healthcare infrastructure, especially proper obstetric care and safe and affordable surgery.
Thanks to your support together with partners like Fistula Foundation, Edna Hospital is working tirelessly to address these issues and bring about a fistula-free world for the women we serve in Somaliland and throughout the Horn of Africa.
Kate Grant of the Fistula Foundation writing in The Guardian
An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labour, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or faeces or both.
One of the toughest aspects of fistula is the stigma. The leaking of faeces and urine results in hygiene issues and a smell that are difficult to cope with. This condition used to be common in the west until the early part of the 20th century. In fact, a fistula hospital once stood on the site of today’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. But thanks to the widespread availability of emergency obstetric care and interventions such as C-sections, fistula is now rare in developed nations.