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Blog Calls For Increasing Awareness Of Obstetric Fistula

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launching of the United Nations Campaign to End Fistula,” and May 23 marks the first International Day to Obstetric Fistula, Glendora Meikle, project director for OperationOF, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “Obstetric fistula is a horrific birthing injury” that “affects around two million women in Africa and Asia,” she notes, adding, “Exact numbers are hazy because the communities most affected are poor and rural, and because the stigma attached to it prevents sufferers from coming forward.” Meikle discusses the condition and its causes, and writes, “[B]y far the biggest obstacle to the eradication of fistula is lack of awareness.” She encourages readers to discuss the condition and spread knowledge, concluding, “It’s a shame fistula is such a difficult subject around which to hold a conversation. But look at it this way: if it makes us uncomfortable just talking about it, imagine how it feels to live with it” (5/22).