News & Updates

Obstetric fistula stories and announcements


01 Jul 2024 Video

Surviving Fistula: Sobia's story, Pakistan

In the heart of Islamabad, Pakistan, a young woman named Sobia faced an unimaginable ordeal: obstetric fistula. This debilitating condition left her ostracized and hopeless, but her spirit remained unbroken. Join us as we share Sobia's incredible journey of survival, resilience, and the unwavering hope that led her to reclaim her life.

Watch the video
11 Jun 2024 News

UNFPA-supported surgeries help survivors of obstetric fistula to advocate for others in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi – “During my contractions, my mother-in-law and my own mother refused to let me go to the health centre to give birth,” Gloriose Mbonimpa told UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. “I felt death was approaching.”

Read More
23 May 2024 Video

Meet Adelia, a survivor of Obstetric Fistula

This is the story of Adelia, a fistula survivor whose journey to healing highlights the devastating impact of this preventable childbirth injury. Through Adelia's experience, we witness the transformative power of timely medical intervention and the importance of supporting initiatives that ensure accessible and quality maternal healthcare to prevent and treat fistula.

Watch the video
22 May 2024 News

“I suffered a lot”: How UNFPA helps women in Guinea heal from obstetric fistula

CONAKRY, Guinea – “It happened at the hospital. I realized I was leaking urine,” fistula survivor Kadiatou Bah told UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. 

Read More
31 Jan 2024 News

“I have my life back”: How one mother in Senegal is thriving after obstetric fistula

TAMBACOUNDA REGION, Senegal – “After giving birth, I developed a fistula and my life was turned upside down,” said Khady* at her home in the village of Koumpentoum, deep in Senegal’s southern Tambacounda region.

“For almost 40 years, my faeces mixed with my urine and was constantly leaking. I lost friends and was no longer invited to christenings or other ceremonies.”

Read More
11 Sep 2023 News

Against the odds, Malawian girl overcomes child marriage, agonizing labour and obstetric fistula

NKHATA BAY, Malawi – Jacqueline was just 15 when she fell in love with a boy from another village. The two eloped, initiating a customary marriage rather than a formal one. But Jacqueline kept the relationship a secret from her mother, Margaret Kumwenda, who grew worried about her daughter’s increasing distraction and frequent disappearances.

Read More
16 Jun 2023 News

“My life completely changed”: Treating bodies, minds and lives affected by obstetric fistula in Guinea-Bissau

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau – “I didn't know what obstetric fistula was, let alone that it could be treated,” says 33-year-old mother-of-two Maria. 

Maria’s dream of expanding her family took a tragic turn in 2016. She was in eastern Guinea-Bissau, in Batafa region, when her labour pains began; but after more than 12 hours, she remained unable to deliver.

Read More
26 May 2023 News

Restoring hope, rebuilding lives: A day in the life of a fistula surgeon in Zambia

NORTH-WESTERN PROVINCE, Zambia – Around the world, half a million women and girls are thought to be living with obstetric fistula, a serious childbirth injury that can cause incontinence and result in significant medical and mental health issues. In Zambia, as of 2018, more than 33,000 women and girls had been affected.

Read More
14 Sep 2022 News

Three women, three stories: Picking up the pieces of lives broken by obstetric fistula

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo/KURIGRAM DISTRICT, Bangladesh/KILIFI, Kenya – Pemba was called “ndoki,” or “witch,” by her community, including her father and siblings. Sojina felt like a prisoner in the room she was banished to, forbidden to step outside even to worship. Jamila’s career as an early childhood development teacher came to an end.

Read More
05 Aug 2022 News

Celebrating Hayat an Obstetric Fistula Heroine in Juba

Juba, SUDAN - Soft-spoken, compassionate, and cheerful; Hayat Peter is one of the nurses who is contributing to ending obstetric fistula in Juba,South Sudan. A registered nurse by profession for the last 22 years, she has helped many patients. However, assisting fistula patients to regain their dignity is one of the biggest moments in her career, according to Hayat.

Read More