EngenderHealth leads the largest U.S. government-funded effort to date to focus on treatment and prevention of fistula. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Fistula Care implements a full range of efforts to restore the dignity of women suffering from fistula and to address the causes of obstetric fistula so that new cases may be prevented.
Fistula Care is managed and implemented by EngenderHealth, in partnership with a host of international and national partners, including IntraHealth International, and public, private, nongovernmental, and faith-based institutions in Africa and Asia. It addresses the enormous backlog of women awaiting life-altering fistula repair, ensuring that they receive timely and quality care from trained providers, and it supports a network of facilities offering a continuum of services, from emergency obstetric care, referrals, and family planning, to complex fistula repairs and advanced surgical training.
The goals of the Fistula Care Project are to:
- Establish or improve fistula services through a network of facilities that address prevention, simple repairs, and complex repairs
- Develop, implement, and monitor standards, guidelines, and protocols for the prevention of fistula in the context of maternal health programs and for the care of women with fistula
- Train surgical teams and strengthen the capacity of hospitals to provide optimal care for women with fistula
- Prevent new cases of fistula by improving the quality of delivery and emergency obstetric care services and increasing access to family planning
- Engage communities to change social norms and enable women to have timely access to maternal health care
- Conduct research and collect and analyze data in order to improve the quality of current fistula services
- Encourage a supportive policy environment for fistula repair services and prevention