Somaliland – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) designated May 23 as International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.
This was the first year of “Fistula Day,” marking the tenth anniversary of the UNFPA’s Campaign to End Fistula. Who better to serve as keynote speaker at today’s celebration in Hargeisa than the person who has been at the forefront of the battle against fistula in Somaliland since 2002?
If you’ve been following Edna Hospital blog and somalilandsun, you know that Edna Adan University Hospital was chosen to partner with the UNFPA for the first-ever Fistula Day. Obstetric fistula is a horrendous condition that is usually caused by obstructed labor in a woman who has no access to qualified health care. After several days of pushing, the baby is stillborn and the mother develops a fistula, or small hole, between her birth canal and her abdomen or rectum. The result of this trauma is that the woman becomes incontinent and is likely to be rejected by her husband, family and community.
End Fistula Day
As Edna pointed out in her speech, the real tragedy of obstetric fistula is that it is both preventable and treatable, yet the UNFPA estimates that approximately 2 million women in Africa and Asia are suffering from this condition in silence. Every year, another 30,000 – 50,000 women will develop a fistula. Edna outlined what is being done in Somaliland to alleviate this burden
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