What Is Fistula?

What is an Obstetric Fistula?

Obstetric Fistula is a hole that develops between the vagina and the rectum or bladder as a result of prolonged obstructed labor.

What are the physical consequences of Obstetric Fistula?

A direct consequence of a fistula is leakage of urine, feces or blood as a result of the hole that forms between the vagina and bladder or rectum. Constant dripping of feces and urine often results in severe burns and wounds that can make walking difficult and result in loss of mobility.

What are the social consequences of Obstetric Fistula?

Women are often abandoned and ostracized by their husbands and families and forced to live in isolation. The stigmatization and marginalization of these women results in shame and loneliness, which are both catalysts to depression and suicide.

What are the risk factors?

The primary risk factors are early or closely spaced pregnancies and lack of access to maternal health care services.
What are the treatment options? Treatment of Obstetric Fistula requires specialized reconstructive surgery which can cost between $400-$900 depending on severity of the fistula, and treatment facility selected.

What are the statistics?

According to the Human Rights Watch approximately 3,000 women and girls in Kenya develop obstetric fistula annually and the backlog of those living with untreated fistula is approximately 30,000 to 300,000 cases.

Prevention of Obstetric Fistulas

Obstetric Fistulas are preventable and according to World Health Organization, they can be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, elimination of harmful traditional practices such as circumcision and access to maternal obstetric care.

How does Hope For Fistula Foundation assist women with Obstetric Fistula?

The Foundation raises funds through goodwill sponsorship by participating in local and regional running races and hosting social community events. All proceeds from race sponsorship and social events hosted go towards the cost of providing reconstructive repair surgery.

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