Preventing Fistula Saves Mothers' Lives
Every minute another woman in Africa or Asia dies in childbirth.
For each woman who dies, a family is shattered. Surviving children are deprived of a mother's care and put at risk. Communities suffer. These deaths represent the ultimate failure of maternal health care.
The toll is more than a half million women lost each year from treatable causes: severe bleeding, infections, hypertensive disorders, obstructed labour or complications from unsafe abortion.
The two million or more women who await fistula repair were very nearly part of this grim statistic. They survived the physical and emotional trauma of obstructed labour to become living reminders of health system failures. All too often, however, these women have been hidden away and forgotten.
By working to prevent fistula, the global Campaign to End Fistula aims to reduce the ongoing tragedy of maternal death and injury . The experiences of women who narrowly survived traumatic deliveries help us understand what is wrong with health services and impart urgency to the challenge of preventing this tragedy from recurring.
The report, recently released by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, calls for systematic notification of fistula cases and the creation of national registers to ensure proper care, follow up and support for all fistula patients.