News & Updates

Obstetric fistula stories and announcements


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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19 May 2019 Updates

Fistula is a human rights violation – end it now!

Statement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, 23 May 2019


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11 Nov 2018 Video

Living with Fistula: The Untold Stories

Fistula is a sad, shameful and isolated life of over two million women around the world.

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20 Sep 2018 News

After decades of suffering, fistula survivors in Nepal find reprieve

DHARAN, Nepal – At the age of 17, Palesh Devi Rajdhobi was married off to a man she had never met. One year later, she gave birth to her first child. Then another, and another. When she was pregnant with her sixth, she knew something was wrong.

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25 Jun 2018 News

Midwife escapes death after being denied maternal health care

SANA’A, Yemen – Najat, a trained midwife, was well aware of the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth. But when her own health needs and professional judgment clashed with her husband’s traditional ideas, she suffered in ways she could not have imagined.

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12 Jun 2018 News

Fistula camp helps women and girls in Sierra Leone regain their dignity

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – “When I became pregnant in December 2016, I never attended a health clinic,” said 19-year-old Katimu Kanneh. “I drank traditional medicines supplied to me by traditional birth attendants in the community.” 

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