All posts tagged: End Fistula

Obstetric Fistula and the Sustainable Development Goals

The UN General Assembly convenes in New York this week. On the agenda: discussion of the first Sustainable Development Goals Report, published in July 2016, which notes impressive gains made over the last few decades. But it is also a reminder that these gains aren’t shared by all. “Between 1990 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 percent.” —The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016 In Bangladesh, where Fistula Foundation actively funds fistula treatment, the maternal mortality ratio decreased by 69 percent between 1990 and 2015. But in rural areas of Bangladesh, where there is limited or no access to health facilities, unattended home births are still common, putting women at risk for death or injuries during childbirth. With over 65 percent of the country’s population living in rural areas, that means many Bangladeshi women are still at risk. Women like Ayesha. Ayesha’s story Ayesha labored at home for seven days. She desperately needed medical care, but there was no way to reach help. Stormy weather made it impossible to leave the small …

Overcoming Treatment Obstacles in Nigeria

Earlier this month, the UN released its final report on the Millennium Development Goals. Progress in MDG 5, improving maternal health, ultimately lagged behind the others.  Far too many women in the 21st century are still dying during childbirth, and not enough are delivering in the presence of a skilled birth attendant. For every woman who dies during childbirth, at least 20 more suffer from devastating injuries like obstetric fistula, a condition that results from prolonged obstructed labor and renders a woman incontinent. So why are so many women delivering on their own, without skilled assistance or emergency obstetric care? Why are women still developing obstetric fistulas, when we know it’s a condition that can be prevented and should no longer exist? Some of the main hurdles are due to poverty – women may live far away from the nearest hospital, particularly in rural areas, and transportation can be too expensive. Still other hurdles have to do with healthcare infrastructure, or, perhaps more appropriately, a lack thereof: for women who do make it to a …

More Than a Number

By Kate Grant, CEO, Fistula Foundation This week, the international aid world will convene in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly to discuss data, procedures, progress or perhaps lack thereof. But it’s important to remember that behind all of these facts and figures are women like Shefali*. At age 20, Shefali was a happy wife and mother of a beautiful son. Like most women, when she became pregnant with her second child she was excited about expanding her family. She went into labor at home alone, without access to a skilled birth attendant, as do more than two thirds of women in Bangladesh. After enduring a day of excruciating labor she felt that something was wrong. She knew that her baby had already died inside her womb. Her husband took her to the hospital where the stillborn baby removed, but this was just the beginning of Shefali’s suffering. Not long after, Shefali began to leak urine: days of obstructed labor had caused an obstetric fistula, an injury that caused her to become …

Midwives: At the Center of Preventing Obstetric Fistula

This week, midwives from around the globe are convening in Prague at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Congress to share best practices, new innovations, learn more about the current status of mothers and newborns, and inspire each other (and others) to action. As midwives are at the center of caring for women, ensuring they have safe pregnancies and childbirths, they play a crucial role in preventing maternal mortality, as well as, maternal morbidities. The statistics of maternal mortality are devestating – nearly 300,000 deaths every year, and for every woman who dies, up to 20 women experience serious, at times life-altering, complications. Obstetric fistula is a devestating childbirth injury due to prolonged obstructed labour, leading to the leakage of urine and/or feaces. “It is a double tragedy, as in most cases the woman has a stillborn baby,” said Dr. Hamid Rushwan, Chief Executive, FIGO, at a session on the subject. As the moderator of the session, Dr. Mulu Muleta, an Ethiopian surgeon who has dedicated her career to treating women with fistula, highlighted the challenges that women face …

Dancing with the Fighters

This is a guest blog post by Sabiha Ashraf, Pakistani painter and artist. The post has been modified since it was first published. This post has the goal to raise awareness of the current fundraising tour in USA of Pakistan’s National Health Forum, to raise funds for Koohi Goth Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. See more here. Sheema Kermani is a dancer. Shershah Syed is a doctor.  They are fighters from Pakistan. Both have waged a ceaseless crusade for decades in a country they cling to as home, despite threats against their lives. If you live in any of the 12 cities they have targeted in USA, you stand a good chance to meet them. The doctor and the dancer are amazingly alike in their crusade of social activism, aimed to create awareness in a society sickened by all the ills, which plague third world countries. Both Sheema and Dr Shershah Syed have won recognition at home and abroad for their achievements in their respective fields as they continue their war for women’s rights, which, as Sheema says, are human rights. Under the banner of a women empowering organization, Tehrik …