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Kenya

Fistula Foundation's pioneering treatment network in Kenya is connecting more women than ever before with life-transforming surgery.

Why We Work in Kenya

Despite significant development progress in recent decades, maternal health indicators in Kenya remain at disappointing levels. This is particularly true in the many rural parts of Kenya, where the majority of women deliver at home without a skilled birth attendant and far from any emergency obstetric care facilities. This has led to a high rate of obstetric fistula in rural Kenya. 

Before 2014, only about 1,000 fistula surgeries were performed each year in Kenya. An estimated 3,000 new cases occur annually—which meant that an enormous number of Kenyan women were going untreated. 

What You Help Us Do

In 2014, Fistula Foundation launched a collaborative network of hospitals to provide year-round fistula care to women in Kenya. We believe this network-of-care model represents the path forward to ending fistula within a generation. Learn more about our plan to end fistula

Since its launch, our Kenya program has achieved tremendous results: 

  • 4,436  fistula surgeries provided 
  • 11 surgeons and 15 nurses trained in fistula management
  • 2,580 health service providers sensitized
  • 340 community health volunteers trained  
  • Over 13,570 community outreach activities in 47 districts 
  • Over 1,183,000 community members reached through direct outreach activities, radio programs and advertisements

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with Gynocare Fistula Centre, Cherangany Hospital, Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA), Kissi Teaching Hospital, Maisha Empowerment Initiatives, Daraja Mbili, Bomu Hospital,  and Narok County Referral Hospital to deliver fistula treatment to women in Kenya.

What projects are we currently funding?

Cherangany Nursing Home

Our support to Cherangany Nursing Home, another Fistula Treatment Network partner through Action on Fistula, has allowed the center to offer obstetric fistula repair surgeries on a regular basis at this site for the first time. Cherangany Nursing Home is strategically positioned near a hard-to-reach rural area in order to provide fistula services to women who would not otherwise be reached. The surgeries offered at this site are supplemented by the outreach team led by WADADIA to bring information to women with fistula in rural areas and refer these women to fistula care centers around the country. (Watch our video about the role of Cherangany Nursing Home in Action on Fistula)

WADADIA

The mission of Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA) is to design and implement programs that empower the poorest of the poor women in western Kenya to ensure maximum and sustainable resource utilization for economic development. WADADIA is a key outreach partner in our community sensitization and patient recruitment efforts. Their efforts are focused in three counties in western Kenya and have already resulted in many women receiving free surgical treatment who otherwise would have gone without.

 

Daraja Mbili

Daraja Mbili Vision Volunteers is a small, grassroots organization based in Kisii. Their main work is with pregnant and vulnerable women.

Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital

Gynocare Fistula Center was opened by Dr. Hillary Mabeya in June 2011 to provide holistic care and treatment for women living with fistula in Kenya. It is based in the town of Eldoret in western Kenya, an area with a high prevalence of fistula. Since opening four years ago, the 24-bed facility has provided fistula treatment for over 1,000 women, making this center the most productive in the country. In June 2014, it was also certified as an official training site by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

Jamaa Mission Hospital 

Jamaa Mission Hospital was originally opened by a group of nuns in the early 1970s with the mission of helping marginalized girls and young women. It has since grown into a general and well-respected Nairobi hospital facility but remains deeply committed to medical issues affecting women, especially fistula. In conjunction with Edelvale Trust, Jamaa plans to increase the number of fistula surgeries this year to over 200, improve outreach though media outlets as well as churches and community organizations, and increase the number of trained local surgeons.

Maisha Empowerment Initiatives

Formerly known as Disciples of Mercy (DoM), Maisha Empowerment Initiatives is a mission organization based in Kisumu dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished Kenyans. With Fistula Foundation funding, the organization conducts community outreach to help identify new patients through sensitization campaigns, radio and TV ads, and mobile technology.

Bomu Hospital

Bomu Hospital serves Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, where health services are generally poor. The hospital has a state-of-the-art operating theater and will now be able to offer fistula surgery on a routine basis. 

Kisumu East District Hospital
Kisumu East District Hospital is a Fistula Treatment Network partner through Action on Fistula. Our support helped establish fistula treatment services there as of August 2014, and enabled the facility to refurbish a previously unused operating theater with new equipment that will be used to provide fistula surgeries.

Who are our past partners?

Wamba Catholic Hospital 

Wamba Catholic Hospital was started in 1967 as a small health dispensary by Italian missionaries and has since grown into a referral hospital for Samburu and neighboring counties, an extremely arid region with dry, hot, and dusty roads and poor infrastructure. It is a 200 bed mission facility that offers a wide range of health services, which will now include fistula surgery as a result of this grant. The hospital aims to conduct 40 free surgeries during its first year in our Fistula Treatment Network.

Isiolo Development Project

Isiolo Development Project was founded in 1989 (officially registered as a community-based organization in 2003) and works with a cluster of other organizations focused on health, education, water and sanitation, and livelihood development projects in Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit Counties, with a specific focus on women and children. Isiolo Development Project is an outreach partner in our Action on Fistula program – they aim to train 55 community health workers to sensitize communities about obstetric fistula and to identify and refer at least 40 women living with fistula for treatment at Wamba Catholic Hospital.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH, formerly known as Nyanza Provincial General Hospital) was established in Kisumu over 100 years ago and is the primary referral hospital in the area. Until we partnered with them in 2010, the hospital was only able to treat fistula during periodic clinics that were held throughout the year, limiting the total number of women they could treat. Today, JOOTRH is able to offer fistula surgery as part of its routine hospital services thanks in part to support from Fistula Foundation.

Dadaab District Hospital

Dadaab is the biggest refugee camp in the world. Established in 1991 to host up to 90,000 refugees, the camp is now a temporary home for half a million people. Most of the refugees have fled from neighboring Somalia following years of drought, famine and long-term conflict and instability. Maternal healthcare infrastructure is virtually nonexistent in Somalia and stretched to the limits in Dadaab, putting women of childbearing age there at high risk for obstetric fistula. It is impossible to estimate the rate of fistula prevalence within the camp, but women who are diagnosed as having a fistula are generally sent to a hospital over 250 miles away in Nairobi. Funding from Fistula Foundation helped to pilot a program to make treatment more accessible by identifying patients at Dadaab District Hospital and referring them for treatment. Our support also helped equip the camp’s medical unit with necessary supplies and medical equipment, provide training to staff, and conduct outreach.

Kisii Teaching Hospital

Kisii Teaching & Referral Hospital began in 1960. It is the largest government-owned health facility in the county, providing leading health services in the region spanning from southern Nyanza to western Kenya. In addition to providing patient healthcare services, the hospital provides facilities for medical education and research, and training for nursing and other health professions. 

How much funding have we granted?

Kisii Gynocare

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $295,850 in FY2018
  • $200,000 in FY2017
  • $175,000 in FY2016

WADADIA

  • $209,553 in FY2019
  • $222,850 in FY2018
  • $185,000 in FY2017
  • $147,588 in FY2016
  • $126,316 in FY2015
  • $88,500 in FY2014

Gynocare Fistula Centre

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $166,369.44 in FY2018
  • $301,300 in FY2017
  • $649,949 in FY2016
  • $811,500 in FY2015
  • $150,000 in FY2014
  • $140,500 in FY2011

Bomu Hospital

  • $102,218 in FY2019
  • $112,834 in FY2018
  • $70,000 in FY2017
  • $10,905 in FY2016
  • $50,000 in FY2015

Daraja Mbili Vision Volunteers

  • $78,000 in FY2019
  • $85,000 in FY2018
  • $92,500 in FY2017
  • $13,100 in FY2016
  • $41,052 in FY2015
  • $35,882 in FY2014

Maisia Empowerment Initiatives

  • $35,000 in FY2019
  • $50,391 in FY2018
  • $45,000 in FY2017
  • $11,719 in FY2016
  • $40,000 in FY2015
  • $37,300 in FY2014

Cherangany Nursing Home

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $280,550 in FY2018
  • $269,400 in FY2017
  • $320,500 in FY2016
  • $207,168 in FY2015
  • $60,000 in FY2014

WOHED

  • $36,533 in FY2019

Beyond Fistula

  • $10,000 in FY2016

Kisumu East District Hospital

  • $50,000 in FY2015
  • $70,000 in FY2014

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), formerly Nyanza Provincial General Hospital

  • $125,000 in FY2013
  • $95,000 in FY2012
  • $105,000 in FY2011
  • $125,000 in FY2010

WAHA – Dadaab refugee camp

  • $71,500 in FY2012
  • $50,000 in FY2011

Jamaa Mission Hospital

  • $91,413 in FY2017
  • $213,791 in FY2013

Wamba Catholic Hospital

  • $30,000 in FY2015

Isiolo Development Project

  • $10,000 in FY2015

Action on Fistula

  • $26,808 in FY2015
  • $115,713 in FY2014

 

News from the Field

Field Notes: A day in Mumias, Kenya  •  January 26, 2017
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Has someone ever thanked you from the bottom of their heart? Before I arrived in Mumias, I would have said yes. That time a friend of mine was down on...
Has someone ever thanked you from the bottom of their heart? Before I arrived in Mumias, I would have said yes. That time a friend of mine was down on his luck and I helped him out. The time I placed a player with some physical challenges in goal for our soccer team, told him I believed in him, and watched him play the game of his life—that time his mother thanked me from the bottom of her heart.
Meet Chepotyeltyel from Kenya  •  December 03, 2016
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Now 80 years old, after suffering with fistula for nearly 50 years, Chepotyeltyel was able to receive free treatment at our partner site Cherangany Nursing Home in July 2016. Following...
Now 80 years old, after suffering with fistula for nearly 50 years, Chepotyeltyel was able to receive free treatment at our partner site Cherangany Nursing Home in July 2016. Following her surgery, she said, “I am glad that God kept me alive for me to have this opportunity to get treated so that when I die, I die a clean woman.”
Changing Tomorrow for Women with Fistula  •  September 29, 2014
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When I entered the hospital room, the first thing I noticed about Naresia was her smile. It came easily, brightening the whole room with a joy that was palpable; her...
When I entered the hospital room, the first thing I noticed about Naresia was her smile. It came easily, brightening the whole room with a joy that was palpable; her face unlined, with rounded features, looking more like an older girl than a young woman. Next to her bed sat a middle-aged Masai woman with shorn hair and large beaded earrings, proudly holding a baby. At first I thought the woman might be Naresia’s mother, but I learned later she was her grandmother.

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