IDEOF Recap 2023

Partners raise awareness in key regions where women still suffer

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF), held every year on May 23, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the condition of obstetric fistula. The United Nations inaugurated the event in 2013 to channel more support to women with fistula who are—all too often—abandoned by society, and left to suffer in silence. Year after year, IDEOF activities help move us toward the ideal of a world where no woman is left behind.

This year on IDEOF, our partners across the world spent the day creating a buzz about fistula in their respective communities. From rallies to fun runs to hospital site visits, our outreach and hospital partners used their platforms to spread the word about this devastating condition. 

Habiba C. Mohamed, regional director of programs at Fistula Foundation, detailed the efforts made by our outreach partner Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA). “We were elated, excited, and super-charged as we joined fellow fistula activists in marking IDEOF in Mumias,” said Mohamed. “The processional included male involvement—a group composed of spouses, sons, fathers, and brothers of survivors—as well as WADADIA F.C., a national women’s soccer team, and the Kenyan Ministry of Health. We made stops at two health facilities, visited a maternity ward to engage with new and expectant mothers, distributed flyers and calendars with information about obstetric fistula, and donated diapers and sanitary pads to the ward. We are so thankful for cooperation and representation from the Ministry of Health, as well as local and religious administrations.” 

IDEOF showcases the mobilization capabilities of our partners and demonstrates the importance of community building in fistula outreach to advance both prevention and treatment. We have come so far, but there is still so far to go. 

Watch the short video below to view IDEOF happenings across the world.


Published on May 25, 2023

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