News / Africa

Funding Boosts Fistula Treatment Program in Kenya

Healing the Pain of Obstetric FistulaHealing the Pain of Obstetric Fistula
x
Healing the Pain of Obstetric Fistula
Healing the Pain of Obstetric Fistula

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The Fistula Foundation, a U.S,-based organization dedicated to treating obstetric fistula, announced recently that it received a $2 million grant to support their work to treat women with obstetric fistula in Kenya, through a new program, Action on Fistula. 
 
The international organization says the money, provided by the pharmaceutical company, Astellas Pharma Europe LTD., is the largest single grant they have ever received, and the biggest corporate commitment ever made to fistula treatment. 
 
The funding will help treat 1,200 women in Kenya with life-changing surgery.  In addition, the program has the potential to serve as a model for comprehensive fistula treatment in other countries.
 
Kate Grant, is the CEO of Fistula Foundation. She explained that fistula impacts a woman both physically and emotionally.   
 
“Obstetric Fistula is a childbirth injury,”  she explained. “It’s the result of unrelieved obstructed labor—the kind of labor that if a woman was giving birth in the United States or another industrialized developed country would likely have a C-section, and she wouldn’t end up with a fistula.  But, for millions of women that give birth at home without access to emergency obstetric care, this injury can result.”
 
Grant said it basically is an injury that leaves women incontinent.  However she said the tears that create the incontinence can be sewn up by a well-trained competent surgeon. 
 
The CEO pointed out that the physical ramifications of fistula, such as incontinence, have a far reaching effect on the woman’s mental health.
 
“If you live in an underdeveloped country, often these women are ostracized because of the leaking of bodily waste, urine and feces…. And without often hot running water and products that we would have in a developed country –Depend pads or something like that -- the women again, are ostracized and frequently left by their husbands,” explained Grant.
 
However, through the new program in Kenya, Action on Fistula, women suffering from the condition will have the hope of leading a healthy life.
 
“We are going to be spending 1.5 million euros, which is a little over $2 million, over three years, targeting Kenya exclusively,”  highlighted Grant. “What we’ve got is really a three-pronged approach.  One we’re going to be treating women with injury.  We hope to treat at least 1,200 women in those three years.  We’re going to be training fistula surgeons…and, we’re going to be pursuing, really quite robust outreach efforts.”
 
She added they want to reach out to women living in remote areas who may not know treatment exists, to let them know they can be treated for free under the Kenya program.
 
Ultimately, Grant emphasized, they hope the program in Kenya can serve as a model for treatment of fistula in other countries.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs