Effective fistula treatment—nationwide
Since 2009, we’ve treated more than 60,000 women within the catchment areas of our local partners. Outside these areas, though, women continue to suffer without access to care.
Our path-breaking, network model overcomes this limitation. Investing in treatment centers across a single country, we can secure countrywide coverage to reach women in previously unreachable places and draw down a country’s backlog of fistula cases.
This model contains four elements:
Our community outreach program provides local health workers with the resources they need to educate communities about fistula and refer patients to the nearest treatment center. Radio announcements, community events and a nationwide hotline help amplify this outreach.
We work with partners to develop a strong network of well-equipped hospitals, each staffed by well-trained surgeons and nurses. Ongoing collaboration among network providers strengthens patient referrals and the overall quality of care. With access to more facilities in more places, women are no longer put on a waiting list for surgery, or forced to travel long distances to see a qualified doctor.
A certified training program increases the number of local surgeons and nurses with the skills to provide high-quality fistula care. In-network referrals make sure women with complex fistulas receive care from the best specialist for their needs.
Post-surgery job-skills training and support groups help survivors create a new future. Women additionally have access to legal assistance and reproductive health services.
We are just getting started
Today, our networks in Kenya and Zambia are thriving, and we are eager to roll this path-breaking model out to new countries. Stable countries with a high unmet need for fistula treatment and an existing foundation of surgery providers are strong candidates.
Our work in Kenya and Zambia continues to remove critical bottlenecks to treatment. Achievements to date include:
Dr. Hillary MabeyaA few years back the idea of a woman with fistula getting treatment was unheard of. Now I am seeing hope in these women.