Continuing our Partner Spotlight series, we asked Fistula Foundation some essential questions about their work.
Why was Fistula Foundation was launched?
Fistula Foundation was founded in 2000 originally as an all-volunteer organization to support a single hospital in a single country. In 2009, we expanded our mission to fight fistula globally, and have been growing rapidly ever since.
What is the Fistula Foundation’s mission and how do you boost health and happiness for moms and kids?
Fistula Foundation is committed to ending the suffering caused by a type of childbirth injury called obstetric fistula. This injury causes mothers to be isolated from their communities and we believe no woman should endure a life of misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world. A woman successfully treated for fistula regains not only control of her body but her ability to contribute fully to her family and her community.
Where does Fistula Foundation work?
Fistula Foundation has supported fistula treatment for women in 28 countries throughout Africa and Asia. We work in countries where conflict, instability, inequality for women and weak health care can make it difficult for women to access treatment.
What is Fistula Foundation’s proudest accomplishment or story about someone who has benefitted from your work?
Between 2009 and early 2014 Fistula Foundation funded more than 10,000 fistula repair surgeries! We’re proud of this because we realize that each and every surgery is important — it represents a woman whose life has been forever transformed. Women like Habiba from a small village in Niger, who became pregnant at 16 and labored for three days before delivering a stillborn baby and developing a fistula. She leaked urine uncontrollably, and her husband and community abandoned her. A successful repair surgery at one of our partner sites gave Habiba hope for the future and a new life.
What’s one thing the Global Moms Challenge community can do right now to amplify your work?
Fistula is an isolating and traumatizing condition, and the kind of health problem that is too often ‘hidden’ from society. So, help get the word out! Tell a friend about fistula. Post something about it on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. Host an informational event in your community. Join our Circle of Friends program. Or you can help us treat the problem directly by making a donation – on average, $450 funds an entire fistula repair surgery as well as pre- and post-operative care.
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Photo credit to Georgina Goodwin, courtesy of Fistula Foundation