Why Do We Work in the Congo?
The Congo is considered to be one of the worst places to be born a woman. Plagued by violence and killing in a "war of liberation" begun in 1996, millions have been killed and rape of women is widely used as a tool of war. Not only does fistula occur as a result of rape, but also because many woman are delivering without medical help for the simple reason that they fear for their safety and will not venture out to go to a Hospital for help. The Fistula Foundation is choosing to target its support for the Congo in light of the dramatic need for treatment and also to offer a glimmer of hope to the nation’s women.
What You Help Us Do in the Congo
We're helping fund:
- Fistula surgery treatment
- Outreach/Community Mobilisation
Panzi Hospital in Bukavo, the capital city of the country's South Kivu Province
HEAL Africa at various host hospitals
How much funding have we granted?
$226,856 in FY2011
$204,100 in FY2010
$200,000 in FY2009
$20,000 in FY2012
$100,000 in FY2011
Who's our partner?
We provide direct support.
How will this help women in the Congo?
Determined to confront the injuries of the population, Dr. Denis Mukwege founded Panzi Hospital in 1999. The 400-bed hospital is renowned for its services to internally displaced persons, specifically victims of sexual violence. From 1999 to 2010, 2,544 women suffering from obstetric fistula received free, high-quality treatment here. The Fistula Foundation began funding the hospital’s obstetric fistula services in 2009 and is honored to be a major supporter of the Panzi Hospital and Dr. Mukwege, whose deep and abiding commitment to serving his people — and particularly women with obstetric fistula and traumatic fistula — is truly inspiring.
HEAL Africa has been performing fistula repair since 2003. They have three resident Congolese specialist surgeons and receive additional support from internationally acclaimed visiting surgeons. HEAL Africa is working to raise awareness in the region of the availability of fistula treatment and are educating communities about how to ensure safe delivery. They send qualified outreach surgical teams to selected rural hospitals, making care more accessible. HEAL also provides training to local surgeons about performing safe C-sections. HEAL provides free fistula surgeries and pre-and-post-operative care for indigent patients, and teaches women how to sew, read, write and weave through HEALing Arts, a skills building program for women who are waiting for or recovering from fistula or prolapse repair surgeries. The Fistula Foundation is proud to support HEAL's work in raising awareness about and providing treatment for women suffering from obstetric fistula.