The Danja Fistula Center Will Provide Free Services for Women with Obstetric Fistula
DENVER, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of obstetric fistula, will open its new state-of-the-art fistula care facility – the Danja Fistula Center (DFC) – in Danja, Niger on February 11. The hospital is unique in that it is focused on a holistic model of obstetric fistula treatment, rehabilitation and prevention.
Obstetric fistula is a hole between a woman’s birth canal and bladder and/or birth canal and rectum typically caused by obstructed labor. The Danja Fistula Center is the first of its kind in Niger and will strive to alleviate the epidemic, which affects millions of women in developing nations, by providing the following:
Obstetric fistula surgery and after-care (including physical therapy)
Social reintegration services (e.g., vocational training, literacy enrichment and micro-financing opportunities) to help fistula patients become active and self-sustained members of their communities
Fistula prevention outreach and maternal health education in the 50-kilometer catchment area surrounding the hospital grounds
Surgical training in obstetric fistula repair to build global capacity
Research opportunities for anthropologists, doctors, professionals and others interested in obstetric fistula, maternal health care and/or developing countries
“The Worldwide Fistula Fund has worked for years to save women from the horrors of fistula, and offer the prospect for a decent life,” said Ann Lewis, president of No Limits Foundation and a longtime advocate of fistula victims. “The opening of the Danja Fistula Center in Niger means hope for thousands more women in the poorest country in the world.”
Fistulas vary in size and severity, ranging from a small tear to an obliterated bladder, but all of them allow waste to flow uninterrupted through the woman’s vagina. Most of the children whose birth caused the condition do not survive. Social consequences of this injury are severe and include profound loss of self-esteem and earning potential, abandonment by husbands and families, and ostracism from society. The condition is especially prevalent in Niger, which has the highest fertility rate (7.1 children per woman) in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The opening of the Danja Fistula Center is a triumph in the fight against obstetric fistula – a condition that is wholly preventable and treatable yet continues to devastate the lives of millions of women across the world,” said Mark Shaker, executive director of the WFF. “The hospital will leverage the skills of a multinational staff to provide the treatment, services and outreach necessary to care for this vulnerable population of women and ensure that maternal health becomes a top priority in the community.”
About the Worldwide Fistula Fund
Founded in 1995, the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides surgical care, social reintegration and physical rehabilitation for women suffering from obstetric fistula. The WFF also supports clinical research and medical training regarding obstetrical trauma in the developing world. More information can be found on its web site, WorldwideFistulaFund.org.
SOURCE Worldwide Fistula Fund