Fistula Foundation works directly with partners in the field who are trusted and carefully vetted by staff. This ‘direct approach’ model reflects Fistula Foundation’s belief that partners know their communities best and understand how to provide innovative solutions and comprehensive care to the women they treat. The Foundation is committed to putting as much funding as possible into the hands of their partners in Africa and Asia, because that’s where women's lives are changed.
Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury caused by prolonged and unrelieved obstructed labor that renders a woman incontinent. This incontinence often leads to stigmatization and social isolation, as community members reject the woman because of her condition and smell. Fistula is preventable when timely emergency obstetric care such as a C-section is available. Unfortunately, however, many mothers in the world’s poorest countries still deliver their babies at home without medical help, and lack access to emergency care. Women with fistula often cannot afford transportation to the nearest fistula repair site, and some are not even aware that they have a medical condition for which free treatment is available.
The good news is that fistula is treatable with a surgery that costs, on average, just $586. This includes a safe, quality surgery as well as pre- and post-operative care. Fistula Foundation funds more life-transforming surgeries for women suffering from obstetric fistula than any other organization in the world not receiving government funding. Since 2009, they have funded over 14,000 fistula repair surgeries across 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. They are focused on this single, solvable maternal health problem because they believe that no woman should suffer a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world.