UN Committee calls to end fistula within a generation

21 November, 2016
UN Committee calls to end fistula within a generation
The Committee's resolution calls to support the activities of UNFPA and partners in the Campaign to End Fistula in establishing and financing fistula treatment and training centres. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

United Nations, New York – The Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a UNFPA-backed resolution today that calls upon the international community to end fistula within a generation.

The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, calls on States to take all measures to ensure the rights of women and girls to the highest standard of mental and physical health, including reproductive health and rights.  While recognizing that poverty, lack of maternal health services, early childbearing and early marriage are interlinked as root causes of fistula, the resolution notes that poverty and inequality remain the main social barriers to eradicating fistula.

In its resolution, the Committee urges the international community to redouble efforts to improve maternal health. This includes universal access to skilled birth attendance, high-quality emergency care and family planning, along with appropriate care before and after birth.

The resolution highlights the need to make greater investments in the health sector to ensure skilled health workers, especially midwives, to provide life-saving care. It urges multilateral donors and financial institutions to ensure that more resources reach young women and girls, in particular in rural and remote areas and the poorest urban areas.

The resolution also calls upon the international community to support the activities of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and its partners in the global Campaign to End Fistula in establishing and financing fistula treatment and training centres.