FACT 1

Obstructed labour accounts for up to 6% of all maternal deaths. It is a cause of maternal mortality and morbidity.

FACT 2

Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by obstructed labour. It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

FACT 3

Each year, between 50,000 to 100,000 women worldwide develop obstetric fistula.

FACT 4

Women who experience this preventable condition suffer constant urinary incontinence which often leads to social isolation, skin infections, kidney disorders and even death if left untreated.

FACT 5

Obstetric fistula fistula can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, by the cessation of harmful traditional practices and by timely access to quality obstetric care.

FACT 6

Most fistula occur among women living in poverty cultures where a woman’s status and self esteem may depend in cultures where a woman’s status and self-esteem may depend almost entirely on her marriage and ability to bear children.

FACT 7

Obstetric fistula still exists because health care systems fail to provide accessible, quality maternal health care, including family planning.

FACT 8

Health professionals in afflicted countries are continuously being trained in preventing and managing obstetric fistula.

FACT 9

Patients with uncomplicated fistula can undergo a simple surgery to repair the hole in the bladder or rectum. Approximately 80-95% of vaginal fistula can be closed surgically.

FACT 10

Preventing and managing obstetric fistula will contribute to improved health, the 5th Millennium Development Goal (MDG’s).