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Guinea

A lingering fear of hospitals following the 2014 Ebola crisis has limited Guinean women’s access to maternal health services, increasing their risk for obstetric fistula.

 Why We Work in Guinea 

Guinea has the 13th highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Despite recent progress, widespread poverty, political unrest, and an influx of refugees from neighboring countries continue to hamper women’s access to quality health care. Much of the population remains wary of hospitals in the aftermath of the 2014 Ebola crisis.

Guinea also struggles with some of the highest incidences of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. This—combined with poor access to emergency obstetric services—puts Guinean mothers at a higher risk for obstructed labor and with it, childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula.

There are currently five hospitals in the country with the capability to treat fistula. Yet capacity at these hospitals remains severely limited due to a lack of trained surgeon and basic supplies, such as medication and surgical instruments. 

Identifying women with untreated fistula, especially in remote regions, also remains a challenge. Often hiding themselves in shame, many are not aware that they are suffering from a known, treatable condition. Strong community outreach is vital to finding and treating women with fistula, and reaching the vast backlog of cases. 

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build Guinea’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA) and EngenderHealth to deliver fistula treatment to women in Guinea.

What projects are we currently funding?

Women and Health Alliance International

In the wake of the Ebola crisis, WAHA International is providing much-needed fistula care, delivering reliable, high-quality services for fistula patients in the capital city of Conakry. They provide hundreds of life-changing repair surgeries each year. WAHA now supports 5 fistula care sites across Guinea.

EngenderHealth

EngenderHealth provides obstetric fistula programs at three hospitals in Guinea since 2006, treating women in the rural areas of Kissidougou, Labé and the capital city of Conakry with obstetric fistula repair services. Before Fistula Foundation began partnering with EngenderHealth, less than two-thirds of women seeking treatment were able to receive it.

How much funding have we granted?

WAHA – Ignace Deen and Djigui Espoir hospitals

  • $121,850 in FY2017
  • $149,600 in FY2016
  • $211,250 in FY2014
  • $379,700 in FY2013

EngenderHealth – Kissidougou, Labé, and Jean Paul II hospitals

  • $134,464 in FY2019
  • $150,000 in FY2018
  • $31,000 in FY2015
  • $150,000 in FY2014

News from the Field

Meet Saran from Guinea  •  June 16, 2016
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With no vehicle to take her roughly 12 miles to the nearest health center, Saran was in labor at home, attended by her mother and the village elder women, for...
With no vehicle to take her roughly 12 miles to the nearest health center, Saran was in labor at home, attended by her mother and the village elder women, for seven long days. When she finally made it to the district hospital, the doctors performed a C-section, but her baby boy did not survive. When she awoke, Saran found she was leaking urine.
Your Donations at Work: Guinea  •  April 04, 2016
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Our partner in Guinea, EngenderHealth, dealt with an unexpected challenge in the past year: the Ebola outbreak. As one of three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak, Guinea...
Our partner in Guinea, EngenderHealth, dealt with an unexpected challenge in the past year: the Ebola outbreak. As one of three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak, Guinea reported more than 2,500 Ebola-related deaths. During the epidemic, the government required that all women arriving at the health facility in Conakry undergo a 21-day observation period before receiving treatment, to confirm that they were free of the virus.
Meet Binta from Guinea  •  August 24, 2015
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Binta is 35 years old and from Fidi, a landlocked village in northwestern Guinea. At 14 years old she was forced to marry a much older man, and soon became...
Binta is 35 years old and from Fidi, a landlocked village in northwestern Guinea. At 14 years old she was forced to marry a much older man, and soon became pregnant. After five days of painful labor, she lost her baby. A few days later, she realized that she was not able to control her urine. The difficult labor had left her with an obstetric fistula.

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