Doctors Without Borders has an initiative to draw attention to a little known condition afflicting millions of women worldwide: fistula. While rarely heard of in the U.S., fistulas are very common in areas of the world where women have little-to-no access to health care. Across Africa, it is estimated that one-and-a-half million women suffer from this preventable and treatable condition, which carries enormous social stigmatization. A fistula is an abnormal opening between the vagina and bladder that can result after a prolonged and/or complicated labor, especially if a woman arrives late to a health facility. The good news is that fistulas can be prevented and treated with relative ease, curing incontinence and relieving women of the pronounced social exclusion they often suffer as a result of their condition.
Check out this package from Doctors Without Borders to learn more:
- A web video and article from Burundi, where MSF opened the country's first fistula repair center:http://web1.
doctorswithoutborders.org/ news/article.cfm?id=5082&cat= video
- An audio slideshow featuring a fistula center in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): http://www.youtube.com/watch?
- A slideshow featuring an MSF fistula surgery camp in Central African Republic: http://web1.
doctorswithoutborders.org/ photogallery/gallery.cfm?id= 5081&cat=slideshow
- A overview article of MSF's fistula projects: http://web1.
doctorswithoutborders.org/ news/article.cfm?id=5071&cat= field-news