International Day To End Obstetric Fistula – Facts You Need To Know!

As the World marks a day to end Obstetric Fistula today on 23rd May, it is important to take note of a few things about this deadly condition.

International Day To End Obstetric Fistula – Facts You Need To Know!

Obstetric Fistula is a condition where a hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum is caused by prolonged, obstructed labor without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It leaves women with urinary incontinence problems and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation, and deepening poverty.

Hundreds of thousands of women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, Latin America, and the Caribbean live with this injury. Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. The average cost of this treatment, which includes surgery, post-operative, care and rehabilitation support, is Ksh. 60,000 per patient. Sadly, many women needing this surgery cannot afford it.

The United Nations focuses on ending Obstetric Fistula by 2030.  This condition is preventable; it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care. During obstructed labor, a C-section can help prevent obstetric fistula. A simple surgery treats obstetric fistulas.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula and urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.