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.
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.
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.
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.
Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health
- $245,846 in FY2019
- $297,325 in FY2018
- $150,000 in FY2012