Obstetric fistula is a serious problem in the world’s poorest countries, where too many mothers give birth without any medical help. In these cases, if a woman’s labor becomes obstructed, she will endure days of painful, prolonged labor. Her baby is unlikely to survive. If the woman survives, her body is literally broken by childbirth. Uncontrollably leaking bodily wastes, these women are too often shunned by their families and communities.
And the numbers are staggering. Half a million women worldwide are currently living in this way, suffering from this heartbreaking, but treatable condition.