Fistula Relief for Africa
What is

What Is Obstetric Fistula?

Obstetric Fistula is a hole between the bladder and birth canal, and/or the rectum and birth canal, that is caused by prolonged labor. Without proper medical attention, women may remain in labor for several days, ultimately delivering a stillborn child. The sustained pressure of the baby’s head on the walls of the bladder and/or rectum results in limited blood flow. This results in tissue death and the creation of a hole. Although eradicated by the turn of the century in most countries (due in large part to advancements in maternal care such as cesarean section deliveries), Obstetric Fistula remains a chronic problem in the developing world. This injury is only correctable through medical intervention. A woman that has suffered a Fistula will continually leak urine and/or feces until the Fistula is surgically repaired. The cost of surgery (approximately $400) is relatively inexpensive compared to the increased quality of life that will be experienced by these women.

In many Africa countries, there are limited professionals and institutions that perform this surgery and they lack adequate funding. Obstetric Fistula is a serious medical condition that is under-funded in most sub-Saharan countries. The women who most often suffer from Obstetric Fistula are comprised from marginalized populations within nations that also face the massive medical burden of diseases such as AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. While we appreciate the severity of all these medical conditions, we also know that Obstetric Fistula is a correctable injury, and surgery can drastically improve the lives of the women who suffer from this injury.