Why We Work in Madagascar
The island of Madagascar is home to some of the most diverse plant and animal life in the world. But its people face extreme poverty—three-quarters of the population live on less than $1.25 per day. In a country of over 24 million people, where there are not enough doctors to meet the demand for basic maternal health care, childbirth can be a life or death matter.
Only 44.3% of births are attended by a skilled professional. This—combined with the country’s high fertility and teenage pregnancy rates—suggests that obstetric fistula is likely prevalent.
Tragically, many Malagasy women who develop fistula are hesitant to seek treatment even if it is available, due to a common belief that surgeons only operate to steal a patient’s kidney or other body part. Additionally, Madagascar’s infrastructure is poor, making rural patients’ travel to the hospital both difficult and costly. As a result, women often suffer for years with obstetric fistula, in isolation and shame.
Meet Our Partners
We identify local surgical teams in Madagascar already successfully treating women with fistula—and then work to amplify their efforts.
- Location: Vangaindrano, Morondava, Antanimalandy, Ivory Atsimo, Ankaramalaza, Toliara, Ejeda, Manambaro, and Antsampanimahazo
- Partner Since: 2016
Below are funding totals since the start of each partnership.
- SALFA: $2,323,703
- Freedom from Fistula Foundation: $179,473
- Hopitaly Vaovao Mahafaly: $11,000