Mauritania’s tense political climate makes maternal health low on the government’s list of priorities, driving higher rates of obstetric fistula.

Why We Work in Mauritania

A coup led by General Aziz in 2008 overthrew Mauritania’s first democratically elected president and established military rule over the country that continues today.

The country’s tense political climate, coupled with the persistence of modern-day slavery and other human rights issues, make maternal health low on the list of government priorities. This is reflected in the country’s high maternal mortality rate and high rates of childbirth  injuries, such as obstetric fistula.

The low status of women is also a contributing factor. Women’s health in Mauritania is uniquely affected by cultural standards of beauty, where obese women are considered more desirable than thin women. In the social practice of leblouh, girls are force-fed to make them more marriageable. Unmarried girls in their late teens face harsh social stigma, leading to high rates of child marriage and teenage pregnancy — both of which are risk factors for obstetric fistula.  

What You Help Us Do

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

Meet Our Partners

We identify local surgical teams in Mauritania already successfully treating women with fistula—and then work to amplify their efforts. 

Who are our current partners?


  • Location: Nouakchott
  • Partner Since: 2019
Who are our past partners?

Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International)

  • Location: Kaedi
  • Partner in: 2014
How much funding have we granted?

Below are funding totals since the start of each partnership.

Current Partners

  • Artemedis: $888,220

Past Partners

  • Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International): $85,130

Thank you for visiting Fistula Foundation!

Your web browser is out of date. Please Upgrade your browser or Install Google Chrome Frame to experience this site.