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EngenderHealth Leads Fistula Care Project, Major Global Effort to Improve Women’s Lives

January 31, 2008—EngenderHealth announced today the launch of Fistula Care, a major global project to treat and prevent fistula. With an award of up to $70 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EngenderHealth and its international and national partners will implement a full range of fistula prevention, repair, reintegration and research activities over the next five years. Fistula Care will work in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the regions with the largest number of obstetric and traumatic fistula cases.

Fistula can be repaired, but too few doctors know how to perform the surgery. “The Fistula Care project addresses the enormous backlog of women awaiting life-altering repair, ensuring they receive timely and quality care from trained providers,” said Ana Langer, M.D., EngenderHealth’s president. “At the same time, we work with our national and global partners to remove barriers to emergency obstetric care that lead to fistula in the first place.”

Fistula Care is focusing on:

  • Training doctors in fistula repair surgery and strengthening the capacity of hospitals to provide fistula care
  • Improving the quality of current fistula services
  • Raising awareness in communities and hospitals about both fistula prevention and the availability of care and repair services for affected women
  • Supporting women as they reenter family and community life

The project is managed and implemented by EngenderHealth, in partnership with a host of international and national partners, including IntraHealth International, Inc., CARE, Meridian Group International, Inc., and public, private, nongovernmental, and faith-based institutions in Africa and Asia.

Fistula Care is led by Karen Beattie, a medical anthropologist and international reproductive health specialist with more than 20 years of experience as a program director, manager, and technical advisor. Additional Fistula Care staff  include Joseph Ruminjo, M.D., and Evelyn Landry. Dr. Ruminjo is an obstetrician-gynecologist with experience in more than a dozen countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and serves as the Senior Clinical Advisor on the project. Evelyn Landry, who has worked as a senior manager and program evaluator in 35 countries, is Fistula Care’s Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Advisor.

Fistula Care will be launching a web site soon with information about the project, including publications.

EngenderHealth is a leading international reproductive health organization working to improve the quality of health care in the world’s poorest communities. EngenderHealth empowers people to make informed choices about contraception, trains health providers to make motherhood safer, promotes gender equity, enhances the quality of HIV and AIDS services, and advocates for positive policy change. The nonprofit organization works in partnership with governments, institutions, communities, and health care professionals in more than 40 countries around the world. For 65 years, EngenderHealth has reached more than 100 million people to help them realize a better life. 

To learn more about EngenderHealth’s fistula activities, please visit http://www.engenderhealth.org/.
For program inquiries, please contact Carrie Ngongo, Fistula Care Program Coordinator at cngongo@engenderhealth.org, or 212-561-8534.

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