Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)May 12, 2017 7:30 am - 8:30 am
The Freedom from Fistula Foundation (FFFF) manages and funds projects that deliver maternal health care to vulnerable girls and women across Africa. The foundation treats and cares for those suffering from obstetric fistula by offering free surgeries, free maternity care and programs that provide social and psychological support and economic empowerment. The overall goal of the organization is to completely eradicate obstetric fistulas for women and girls in Africa.
The overall goal of the organization is to completely eradicate obstetric fistulas for women and girls in Africa.
More than 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistulas and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually.
A fistula occurs when women and girls are subject to prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth. A fistula is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum. Not only do the women frequently lose their babies, but without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment it leaves women leaking urine, feces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems as well as depression, social isolation and eventually deepening poverty.
The condition is almost entirely preventable. The WHO states that obstetric fistula can be avoided by timely access to obstetric care. Its persistence is a sign of lack of access to quality health care (global inequality) and an indication that health systems in place now are failing to protect the health and human rights of the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls.