Why We Work in Zambia
Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. While economic indicators have improved over the past decade, unemployment remains a serious problem in Zambia.
People in rural areas of the country face particular hardship, with the vast majority living in extreme poverty and lacking access to basic health care. Only half of the women in rural areas deliver with a skilled birth attendant—leading to high rates of maternal mortality and childbirth injury, such as obstetric fistula.
Before the launch of Fistula Foundation’s treatment network in 2017, there were only four trained fistula surgeons in the entire country, severely constraining women’s access to timely, fistula care.
What You Help Us Do
Fistula Foundation has worked with partners in Zambia to provide life-transforming surgery since 2012.
In 2017, with support from Johnson & Johnson, we launched a new countrywide treatment network to build Zambia’s long-term capacity for fistula care. We believe this network-of-care model represents the path forward to ending fistula within a generation. Learn more about
Since the network’s launch, it has achieved tremendous results:
- 1,532 fistula surgeries provided at seven hospitals
- 1,321 surgeries since the network launched in 2017
- 3 surgeons and 58 nurses trained in fistula management
- 1,464 community health volunteers and Safe Motherhood Action Group members trained to spread fistula awareness and refer patients
- 57 midwives trained on fistula identification and prevention efforts
- 2,836 local leaders sensitized on fistula
- 10,764 outreach visits carried out in 32 districts
- Over 735,000 people reached through radio programs and advertisements
Meet Our Partners
In partnership with Zambia’s Ministry of Health and provincial and district health offices, Fistula Foundation is supporting fistula treatment to women across Zambia at the following hospitals. Periodic fistula surgical outreach camps have been conducted at Lewanika General Hospital and Mbala General Hospital.
- Chilenje Level 1 Hospital
- Location: Lusaka
- Partner Since: 2019
- Chilonga Mission Hospital
- Location: Chilonga
- Partner Since: 2015
- Mansa General Hospital
- Location: Mansa
- Partner Since: 2017
- Mbala General Hospital
- Location: Mbala
- Partner Since: 2018
- Monze Mission Hospital
- Location: Monze
- Partner Since: 2017
- Kabwe General Hospital
- Location: Kabwe
- Partner Since: 2016
- St. Francis Mission Hospital
- Location: Katete
- Partner Since: 2013
- CIDRZ Foundation
- Location: Chipata, Chitokoloki, Mansa, Mongu, Monze, and Mpika
- Partner In: 2012 – 2014
- Family Life Office of Mpika Diocese
- Location: Mpika
- Partner In: 2015
Below are funding totals since the start of each partnership.
- Chilonga Mission Hospital: $11,036
- Kabwe General Hospital: $10,000, additional support through Treatment Network
- St. Francis Mission Hospital: $104,211, additional support through Treatment Network
- Zambia Treatment Network: $1,273,102
- Since 2017, these funds have been used to support all hospitals in the treatment network, as well as community outreach and mobilization, fistula surgeon and health provider training, and to maintain our Zambia field office.
- CIDRZ Foundation: $113,022.94
- Family Life Office of Mpika Diocese: $8,365
News from the Field
Despite a heavy rainy season, our amazing Zambia team is going the extra mile to reach women in need. This video shows a washed-out bridge the team encountered this February on the road from Chama District back to Lundazi in eastern Zambia. The team had to detour, crossing into Malawi, in order to make it back home safely. The journey took them 12 hours.
While in Chama, they were able to check on six women who had been identified by a Community Health Volunteer as potential fistula patients. The women have been scheduled for surgery at our new program at St. Francis Katete Hospital in Zambia’s Eastern Province opening this March.