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Pakistan

Our partner, the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health, is one of the country’s only fistula treatment providers ensuring women access to life-changing care.

Why We Work in Pakistan

Quality maternal health services remain in short supply in Pakistan. With only 52% of births attended by a skilled medical professional, many women, especially in rural areas, risk serious injury should obstructed labor or other complications arise. A recent study  by UNFPA and the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health estimates 3,500 cases of obstetric fistula occur in Pakistan every year.

Identifying patients has been difficult. Most women with fistula live in abject poverty, in isolated areas where there is little understanding of fistula and its causes. Many women do not know they are suffering from a treatable medical condition. Compounding these challenges, our partners in Pakistan report difficulty in providing treatment due to a lack of trained and willing surgeons in the country.

What You Help Us Do

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

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health to deliver fistula treatment to women in Pakistan. Beginning in 2003, the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health (PNFWH) had been receiving funding from UNFPA, as a part of the agency’s global Campaign to End Fistula. Their work quickly became a lifeline for Pakistani women suffering with this terrible condition. However, when UNFPA abruptly ceased its funding in 2016, Fistula Foundation was ready to step in. We have been the primary funders of this vital project ever since.

Who are our current partners?

PNFWH’s services are crucial for obstetric fistula survivors— it is the only hospital in the country that offers free fistula treatment to all patients. PNFWH operates seven regional fistula centers across the country, with its hub at Koohi Goth Hospital in the capital city of Karachi.

Who are our past partners?

Murshid Hospital, Karachi (and 3 select regional hospitals)

We provided grant support to Murshid Hospital through Direct Relief. While funding for this project was granted in 2012, it took longer than expected to launch activities due to insecurity and logistical challenges in Karachi. To date, 40 patients have been screened, of which 11 with fistula were identified and referred for treatment.

Funds were also used to build capacity among critical health workers — midwives, doctors and gynecologists — in the prevention, diagnosis and repair of fistula. Finally, extensive community outreach was conducted through Dream Foundation Trust, a dedicated grassroots organization based in Karachi — so far, 9 awareness and training sessions for more than 450 healthcare providers/educators and community members, including one focused specifically on traditional birth attendants, have been carried out.

How much funding have we granted? 

Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health

  • $245,846 in FY2019
  • $297,325 in FY2018

Murshid Hospital

  • $150,000 in FY2012

News from the Field

Obstetric Fistula: An Illness of Social Segregation  •  August 26, 2016
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News site Lead Pakistan reports on obstetric fistula and its effect of social segregation, providing data on the number of women who suffer from it: PESHAWAR: Obstetric Fistula is a...
News site Lead Pakistan reports on obstetric fistula and its effect of social segregation, providing data on the number of women who suffer from it: PESHAWAR: Obstetric Fistula is a serious disease that lands a woman in social segregation and it can only be treated through proper surgery. Medical experts say that fistula is a serious injury of childbirth. It is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged, obstructed labour due to the lack of timely and adequate medical care.
Meet Nazneen from Pakistan  •  September 30, 2015
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For years, Nazneen experienced emotional distress caused by constant urine leakage. She was highly discouraged after undergoing two unsuccessful fistula repair surgeries over the past eight years, but eventually sought...
For years, Nazneen experienced emotional distress caused by constant urine leakage. She was highly discouraged after undergoing two unsuccessful fistula repair surgeries over the past eight years, but eventually sought treatment at Murshid Hospital in Karachi after being encouraged by her son-in-law. Nazneen was admitted to Murshid Hospital In May 2015.

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