The annual meeting of the International Obstetric Fistula Working Group came to an end last week, after days of intense dialogue among fistula experts from around the world, partners and national officials to review the situation of more than 2 million women who still live with the condition.
“The story unfortunately is the same in so many locations. A neglect of the serious needs of these women, who have no option to access needed services that would have avoided the shame and suffering that has come to them as a result,” said Mr. Mark Bennett, CEO Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.
According to Ms. Gillian Slinger, Campaign Coordinator, "it was pleasure to meet national authorities and pay special tribute to some of the heroes in the fight against fistula."
During the last day of the meeting, the Minister of Health of Mozambique, Dr. Alexandre Manguele, paid a special tribute to Dr. John Kelly, a British fistula surgeon who has worked for more than 40 years in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor Gordon Williams of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital accepted a certificate on behalf of Dr. Kelly. Fistula surgeon Dr. Aldo Marchezinewas also praised for his outstanding contribution to the fight against fistula in Mozambique.
The Minister of Health met fistula survivors Ms. Sarah Omega and Ms. Norah Amisi, praising them for their efforts and achievements as fistula advocates in Kenya and congratulating them for their participation in the meeting.
Photos: Benedicte Desrus, SIPA Press/UNFPA/Campaign to End Fistula.