New Year, New Partners

Six new alliances help expand our global network of care in 2023

We are excited to welcome four new partners to our global network. Because of these partnerships, hundreds of women in Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, and Zambia will now have access to free, life-transforming surgery. In addition, two former partners have reinitiated agreements with Fistula Foundation, building on previous partnerships to offer care at facilities in Madagascar and Uganda.

New Partners in 2023

Dame Olayinka Obaleye Obstetric Fistula Center (Nigeria)

Dame Olayinka Obaleye Obstetric Fistula Center is a unit within Wesley Guild Hospital, a federal teaching hospital in Ilesa, Nigeria, located in the southwestern part of that country. The center aims to perform 100 surgeries over the course of one year. In doing so, it will reach many women who cannot afford to pay for care and who are currently on a waiting list. In addition to providing treatment, the center will mobilize patients in need of surgery and conduct community outreach.



  • Surgery Target: 100
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Akintunde Fehintola





Health Coordination Department, Catholic Diocese of Wau (South Sudan)

Political instability in South Sudan makes it practically impossible to deliver routine fistula surgery in that country. So, to meet the need for care, our newest partner in South Sudan—the Health Coordination Department, Catholic Diocese of Wau—will provide surgical outreach at St. Daniel Comboni Hospital, a large Catholic hospital in the city of Wau. Along with providing treatment via two surgical outreach efforts hosted at the hospital, the Catholic Diocese of Wau aims to provide training to one fistula surgeon and 11 nurses, and to conduct community outreach activities.



  • Surgery Target: 70
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Marianna Santin (resident physician training in fistula surgery), with support from a senior visiting surgeon



Nyambene Sub-County Hospital (Kenya)

Nyambene Sub-County Hospital, located in Meru County, Kenya, has joined the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Kenya. Fistula is prevalent in this part of the country, and no other facility there offers fistula repair services. Nyambene Sub-County Hospital intends to address this gap in coverage by providing 40 repair surgeries with support from Dr. Charlotte Polle, a visiting surgeon certified by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). (Dr. Polle is also a member of the Fistula Foundation board of directors). Once the hospital is able to install a trained, full-time fistula surgeon, it will provide routine services to fistula patients.




  • Surgery Target: 40
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Charlotte Polle



Solwezi General Hospital (Zambia)

Solwezi General Hospital, located in northwestern Zambia, is the number one referral hospital in the region, and functions as a central hospital for the northwestern province. Solwezi has joined the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network (FFTN) in Zambia, and will begin mobilizing patients in March, with surgical outreach efforts planned for May and October. Solwezi aims to provide 40 repair surgeries this year, contributing to the FFTN’s target of 350 surgeries across the network. In addition to treatment, Solwezi will conduct community outreach in three districts, train 120 new members as part of Zambia’s Safe Motherhood Action Group, and teach community members, rural healthcare providers, and local leaders about fistula.


  • Surgery Target: 40 (350 total for FFTN in Zambia)
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Paul Mweemba Musoba







Reinitiated Partners

Freedom from Fistula Foundation Madagascar (Madagascar)

Freedom from Fistula Foundation Madagascar was our partner in 2016, and we are reinitiating that relationship by supporting its work at the Fistula Care Centre, located at Chut Hospital Be in Toamasina, Madagascar. The Fistula Care Centre is considered a center of excellence in part because Dr. Michael Breen, an expert surgeon and a FIGO trainer, serves as its resident fistula surgeon. In addition to providing 350 surgeries over the course of the year, Freedom from Fistula Foundation Madagascar aims to train 43 patient ambassadors as part of its community outreach efforts and to support fistula patients with counseling and basic education during their hospital stay.




  • Surgery Target: 350
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Michael Breen





TERREWODE was a Fistula Foundation partner from 2011 to 2014. We are reinitiating our partnership with this organization to fund 125 repair surgeries at the Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital in Soroti, Uganda. This facility is the only dedicated fistula treatment hospital in Uganda. It offers routine and specialized fistula treatment, as well as comprehensive reintegration services. In addition, TERREWODE will mobilize patients and provide them with transportation to and from the facility.

Left to right: Dr. Tino Kevin Okedi (resident fistula surgeon), Dr. Fekade Ayenachew (visiting surgeon), Alice Emasu (executive director of TERREWODE)




  • Surgery Target: 125
  • Lead Fistula Surgeon: Dr. Tino Kevin Okedi (resident fistula surgeon)
    assisted by Dr. Cherop Moses and joined by Dr. Fekade Ayenachew (FIGO trainer and expert fistula surgeon)






Donations from our generous family of supporters will fully fund the activities that all six of these partners have planned for this year. Without our donors, or our partners, our work to end the suffering caused by disabling childbirth injuries like fistula would not be possible.

Published on January 18, 2023

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