Mali is one of the poorest countries of the world, with the majority of its population living in its rural, desert areas. Due to extremely limited availability of health care services, less than half of all Malian women give birth with a skilled health professional. As a result, childbirth can lead to consequences such as death or sustained injuries including obstetric fistula, a devastating injury caused by prolonged or obstructed labor without timely medical attention.
From 2008 to 2013, EngenderHealth’s activities in Mali focused on addressing obstetric fistula. We partnered with three hospitals to train doctors and nurses to perform fistula repair surgery, as well as medical monitoring and counseling for fistula and family planning. We also collaborated with nursing schools and district health centers to further strengthen emergency obstetric care and better prepare medical professionals to prevent fistula. Over the course of our work in Mali, we trained 18 doctors and 311 nurses in fistula surgery, 184 people in fistula counseling, and supported 460 fistula repair surgeries.