News & Updates

Obstetric fistula stories and announcements


21 May 2021 News

In Mozambique, an obstetric fistula survivor's journey from "I was nothing" to "I am capable of everything"

MOCUBA, ZAMBEZIA PROVINCE, Mozambique – Beatriz Sebastião suffered in silence. She had no friends in the neighborhood or at school. When she went to church, she sat alone. When she went to the river, other women mocked her before leaving to bathe elsewhere. 

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23 Jun 2020 Updates

End gender inequality! End health inequities! End fistula now!

Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

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22 May 2020 News

Safe birth services save lives, prevent childbirth injury in Tanzania

BARIADI, United Republic of Tanzania – Midwife Nuriat Koku Mtumbi remembers the day in March well: “It was raining heavily and Adimu* had delivered her baby on her way to our facility. “She was shielding herself under a tree” when she gave birth, Ms. Mtumbi recalled.
Adiumu was in excruciating pain, and bleeding heavily. She could barely move, “but her mother managed to get her here,” Ms. Mtumbi said. The newborn was struggling to breathe.

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22 May 2020 News

In Yemen and around the world, obstetric fistula strikes the most vulnerable women

AL HUDAYDAH, Yemen – Five years ago, Marwa* was a child bride living in the port city of Al Hudaydah. “I was almost 17 years old, and happy with my new life. I was a new bride and I got pregnant fast. I thought life was smiling at me,” she told UNFPA. She had no idea how quickly life would turn upside down.

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19 May 2020 Video

#WomenOnTheFrontline: the story of Sahar from Yemen

Sahar survived a painful experience during the birth of her daughter, Sondos. She was then determined to be part of the solution so other women in her community don't experience the same pain.

Two thirds of all reproductive health facilities in Yemen stopped working since the start of the war. This leaves millions of Yemeni women vulnerable to increased rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.

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08 Jan 2020 News

“Never give up hope,” fistula survivor tells Pakistani women

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – “Helping women suffering fistula is my mission in life," Razia Shamshad said about the maternal injury from childbirth that she thought would ruin her life. “No woman deserves to live in misery, especially when it is treatable.”

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23 May 2019 Video

"My grandchildren will play with me. I am clean. I can practice my faith. I can live" - A fistula surviver rejoices

"My grandchildren will play with me. I am clean. I can practice my faith. I can live" - A fistula surviver rejoices

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22 May 2019 News

Treatment for traumatic childbirth injury gives new hope to women in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – “I saw myself as the living dead,” 50-year-old Laila* told UNFPA. She suffered terribly while giving birth in Pakistan 27 years ago. The prolonged, obstructed labour left her with an obstetric fistula – one of the most serious injuries that can occur during childbirth.

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