Frequently Asks Questions
Yes. Click here to view our official letter stating our tax-exempt status.
Supporters in the UK and Australia can provide tax exempt gifts through the following Fistula Foundation’s The Life You Can Save web pages:
Supporters in Canada can make tax-exempt gifts through Fistula Foundation’s RC Forward web page.
We are committed to helping women with fistula, both in the short term by providing as many cost-free surgeries as possible, and in the long term through our proven evidence-based strategy to eliminate the condition for good on a country-by-country basis.
Goal 1: Strengthen local capacity at individual hospitals in Africa and Asia to treat as many women as possible
Our first goal is to provide immediate relief to women in areas of the greatest need. Rather than working through intermediaries, we partner directly with established, in-country hospitals and surgical teams who understand how best to serve women in their communities. In addition to paying for the direct costs of fistula repair surgery, we strengthen the efforts of these local experts, equip hospitals to provide high-quality fistula care, and use grassroots community outreach to reach as many suffering women as possible. This strategy has proven effective for over a decade since we first adopted a global mission in 2009. Learn more about our
While our primary aim is to help hospitals provide regular, continuous fistula services, in extreme cases where conditions on the ground do not permit this, we will cover the cost of a visiting surgeon, if this is the only way women in a region can access surgery. A powerful example of this “camp” model is our work in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, an area crippled by a severe shortage of medical professionals and brutal bombings from the country’s corrupt government.
Goal 2: Use our evidence-based countrywide treatment model to eradicate fistula country by country
Our second, longer-term goal is to eradicate the scourge of fistula globally. Fistula Foundation’s proven countrywide treatment model—with adequate backing—can end fistula in a generation on a country-by-country basis. The results of our rigorous and successful 6-year program in Kenya demonstrate that this model has the power to reach women in previously unreachable places and draw down a country’s backlog of fistula cases.
This model harnesses the power of local stakeholders to develop a strong network of well-equipped hospitals across the country. These facilities are staffed by well-trained surgeons and nurses, sharing the resources and best practices needed to provide free, year-round fistula care. We collaborate with local grassroots organizations and government agencies to provide local health workers and outreach teams with the resources they need to educate communities about fistula and refer patients to a hospital in our network. With access to more treatment centers in more places, women are no longer put on a waiting list for surgery or forced to travel long distances to receive high-quality fistula care. Our countrywide network model also helps “build the bench” by training more fistula surgeons to internationally accredited standards, and helps women build a new life after fistula with psychological counseling and economic empowerment.
Following our successful Kenya pilot, launched in 2014, we secured funding in 2017 to set up a second countrywide network in Zambia. Today both programs are thriving. We are eager to roll out this path-breaking model to new countries across Africa and Asia. Our criteria for potential new networks are that the country has a high unmet need for fistula treatment and an existing foundation of surgery providers. Within that framework, there is much work to be done.
We are committed to getting as much money as possible to our trusted partners in the field, because that’s where women’s lives are changed.
To ensure funding goes to the most respected local doctors and hospitals in Africa and Asia, Fistula Foundation issues grants on an invitation-only basis. Learn about our
Surgeons and hospitals that receive funding from Fistula Foundation are required to provide quarterly progress reports detailing their project activities and costs, surgical outcomes, and any challenges encountered. Fistula Foundation only releases funds once a partner’s report has been reviewed by our Medical Advisor and Program Development staff.