The Campaign to End Fistula. Can I tell you a bit more about it? Because their work is really REALLY important.
Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labour without prompt medical intervention, usually a Caesarean section. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and, in most cases, a stillborn baby.
The smell of leaking urine or faeces, or both, is constant and humiliating, often driving loved ones away. Left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems, including ulcerations, kidney disease, and nerve damage in the legs.
Surgery can normally repair the injury, with success rates as high as 90 per cent for experienced surgeons. The average cost of fistula treatment and post-operative care is just US $300 / £170. Sadly, most women with the condition do not know that treatment is available, or they cannot afford it.
This video tells you a bit more…
Chances are (and I very much hope this is the case for you) you’ve never heard of fistula, because chances are you had access to skilled intervention when you gave birth to your babies, in the event of anything going wrong. Fistula has all but disappeared in countries where women experiencing complicated deliveries have access to timely emergency obstetric care.
My births were no walk in the park, and I’m quite sure you weren’t exactly having a party either, but I hope you’ll agree that those of us in higher income parts of the world are extraordinarily privileged to have access to the level of medical care that we do. We might not think it’s perfect, all of the time… but compared to these women we are very, very lucky.
Look at this horrifying statistic:
Chances of an African woman dying in pregnancy: 1 in 16
Chances of a woman in high-income countries dying as a result of a pregnancy: 1 in 2,800.
The Campaign to End Fistula do amazing work not only to repair women who have already suffered, but also in preventing harm in the first place; by providing obstetric care to women during childbirth, providing access to safe and reliable family planning and by educating and empowering women
Please join me in giving whatever you can, as well as by raising awareness of this condition that we in the “developed” world are thankfully spared. Thank-you and do see the website for more information and resources you can share on your own blog! If you post anything about this on your own blog or anywhere else, please share the link here!