I can think of few medical conditions as debilitating — but treatable — asÂ obstetricÂ fistula, and I’d like to do a part to help.
In the Wealthy West, it doesn’t ordinarily come up in discussions of reproductive health or choice, but that’s what it seems like to me. An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum, or vagina and urethra. They’re caused by over-extended labor, which causes the tissues, under pressure, to die. I can only imagine the stigma, the disability and the peril to health.
I know about them from sensitive news reporting, and from them, to organizations that campaign against fistula. One such report is on Al Jazeera, which you can watch online while you keep up with North African and Middle Eastern news: see “Fistula Hospital” in the Birthrights series.
Some organizations or campaigns seem to train midwives to make childbirth safer. Others seem to fund reconstructiveÂ surgery. Others seem to be educational.
Just raising the issue here, but do you know the obstetric fistula organizations and have found one you particularly admire? Is there interest in learning more about how to help?