One Year Later: The Impact of Fistula Foundation’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

One year ago, our team at Fistula Foundation was deeply concerned about the unfolding Covid-19 crisis and how it would impact our partners in Africa and Asia. While we have always been laser-focused on fistula treatment,  we knew we needed to help them weather the storm. So, with unanimous support from our Board of Directors, we amended our Articles of Incorporation and launched a Covid-19 Emergency Response campaign in April 2020.

Our community’s response was extraordinary. Fistula Foundation raised nearly $700,000, which has helped our hospitals procure nearly 229,000 individual masks for 6,332 staff members. What’s more, after lockdowns and travel restrictions severely limited our partners’ cash flow, this support gave our partners the resources they needed to cover staff salaries and prevent layoffs, as well as other operating expenses like rent and utilities.

Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Allocation:



After an initial decline in surgery numbers early in the pandemic, we are grateful to report that the majority of our partners were able to resume fistula treatment in the second half of 2020. Thanks to their dedication, these extraordinary surgical teams and hospitals were still able to provide 6,802 women with life-changing fistula surgery. As you can see in the chart below, while fistula surgeries decreased by nearly two-thirds in Q2, they made an astounding rebound. By Q4 our partners performed 13% more surgeries than they did Q4 2019.

Number of Surgeries Funded by Fistula Foundation by Quarter: 2019 v. 2020


As we enter 2021, the challenges are far from over for our partners. Analysts predict that vaccine rollouts will reach low-income countries last, and we’re watching closely to see how the situation evolves. What is clear, however, is that our partners are determined to forge ahead providing life-transforming care in more than 20 countries. Thanks to the resilience of our partner hospitals and the continuing support of our donor community, our critical work has continued across Africa and Asia—even in the face of a problem as vast and devastating as the Covid-19 pandemic.


Published on: March 18, 2021

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