Poverty, limited healthcare infrastructure and early marriage are all common in remote parts of Senegal, contributing to an increased risk of obstetric fistula.

 Why We Work in Senegal

Fistula Foundation is not currently working in Senegal

While maternal health indicators have gradually improved in Senegal over the last several years, the numbers often do not reflect the dramatic differences between urban and rural areas.

Poverty, limited healthcare infrastructure, lack of trained medical staff and access to emergency obstetric services, and early marriage are all common in remote parts of Senegal and contribute to an increased risk of fistula. There is also an ever-growing backlog of cases throughout the country.

What You Help Us Do

We made the following investments to build Senegal’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

Fistula Foundation has previously worked with Women and Health Alliance International, Tostan International and National Training and Fistula Reparation Center in Senegal. We are currently not funding any projects in the country.

What projects did we fund in the past?

Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA)

One of the biggest contributing factors to obstetric fistula is a long delay between the time a woman goes into labor and the time she arrives at a health center for medical care. This is often due to the high cost of transport and/or inaccessibility of roads in rural areas. To address this problem, we funded the purchase of all terrain ambulance vehicles (ATVs) in the Kedougou region through WAHA. These vehicles can navigate rough terrain in ways that traditional ambulances cannot, which allows more women to be transported to sites where they can receive timely emergency obstetric care and fistula services.

We also provided funding for much-needed upgrades and repairs to Kedougou Hospital’s operating theater. This included the purchase of operating tables, lighting, a diathermy machine, and all medical supplies necessary for performing fistula surgery. 

Tostan International

Tostan International has received international acclaim for its community-based development model, working in local languages and utilizing traditional methods of communication and learning. Fistula Foundation provided Tostan with funding in 2012 to conduct a needs assessment of communities in Senegal that formed the basis for a comprehensive fistula prevention and treatment program in the regions of Kedougou, Kolda, Ziguinchor, Tambacounda and Matam.

National Training and Fistula Reparation Center (CIRFO)

Under the leadership of renowned fistula surgeon Dr. Serigne Gueye, the National Training and Fistula Reparation Center (CIRFO)’s project had two main components: increasing the number of complex fistula surgeries performed at CIRFO, and training more surgeons to be able to perform fistula surgeries locally. With funding from Fistula Foundation in 2011, CIRFO was able to meet these objectives. Not only did they perform 100 complex surgeries at the center, but they also trained 20 Senegalese doctors and surgeons, 10 nurses, 8 anesthesiologists, and a number of doctors from other West African nations.

How much funding have we granted?


  • $48,500 in FY2011

Tostan International

  • $50,000 in FY2012


  • Kedougou Hospital: $42,800 in FY2010
  • All Terrain Ambulance Vehicles: $120,000 in FY2011

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