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ENGENDERHEALTH: Greater Hope in the Fight to End Fistula

EngenderHealth photographer
Kadiatou Diallo

Kadiatou had suffered from obstetric fistula, an often life-threatening, but largely preventable condition. It is all too common in the developing world, affecting an estimated more than 2 million girls and women today. For women with fistula, the consequences can be devastating. The baby usually dies during labor, and the mother is left with chronic incontinence, often leading to isolation from family and community life, and neglect or abandonment by male partners. Without surgical repair, a woman’s prospects for work or family support are greatly diminished, and she is often left to rely on charity.

Fortunately, in up to 90% of cases, fistula can be surgically repaired. Through the Fistula Care Plus project, EngenderHealth works to restore health to women with fistula and prevent other women from developing the condition. Today, we have become the number one provider of fistula care in the developing world.

And the impact is truly transformative for women like Kadiatou: “I experienced this painful situation for seven months, until one day my neighbor told me that she learned that my illness could be treated without paying anything. I came out healed,” says Kadiatou. “I thank all those near or far, who have helped to positively change my life. I encourage other women suffering from the same illness to go for treatment… and especially not to lose hope.” Kadiatou has since had another baby, who is healthy, happy, and thriving.

“I thank all those near or far, who have helped to positively change my life.“
— Kadiatou is inspired to encourage other women with fistula to go for treatment

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