‘Solutions At Hand’ To Achieve Fistula-Free Generation
“We are thrilled to be in Uganda to recognize the achievements of EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project, the largest U.S. government-funded initiative to treat and prevent obstetric fistula in more than 10 countries throughout Africa and Asia,” Pamela Barnes, president and CEO of EngenderHealth, and Joseph Ruminjo, a consultant obstetrician-gynecologist and clinical director of EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Project, write in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “In our ongoing efforts, we’ve identified and implemented practices that have significantly improved outcomes for women with fistula,” they note, adding, “Fistula Care embarked on extensive research and training to identify practices that would help improve standard treatment and care, which will ultimately improve the quality of care and outcomes for women with fistula.”
“We’ve learned more about who fistula affects and how to better support women,” that “[n]ot all women living with fistula are victims,” and that “[a]ccess to quality maternal health programs is critical to achieving a fistula-free generation,” Barnes and Ruminjo continue. “We have the solutions at hand: We must continue working at both policy and program levels to upgrade and increase access to emergency obstetric care, train more surgeons and health care professionals and partner with communities to raise awareness of the need for skilled care at delivery and family planning,” they write, adding, “We know what it will take to achieve a fistula-free generation, and together we must accelerate momentum to make fistula as rare in Africa and Asia as it is today in the United States” (9/10).