Fistula Foundation featured prominently in 10th Anniversary Edition of The Life You Can Save! Learn More

Our Approach

“Maternal health is woefully neglected and those suffering fistulas are completely voiceless – young, female, poor, rural, and ostracized.
They are the 21st century’s lepers.” – Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times

Our Model

Fistula Foundation does one thing and we do it well: treat obstetric fistula. Funding from our generous donors allows us to provide our partners in the field with human and financial resources that enable as many women as possible to receive the treatment they need. Our partners are carefully vetted and every site we fund is coordinated and staffed by local nurses, heroic doctors and care workers who understand the community and understand how to provide the best care possible to the women they treat.

The need for fistula treatment is tremendous and this is a challenge we cannot face alone. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to work with not only stellar partners in the field, but with a host of organizations and corporations that bring invaluable knowledge, expertise and even funding to the table.


Our Partners in the Field

Fistula Foundation issues grants on an invitation-only basis, which helps to ensure that our funding goes specifically to treatment at facilities that are known, trusted and have access to qualified fistula surgeons who can provide the best care possible to women.

We focus on funding fistula treatment, but there are many components required in order to provide women with free, safe obstetric fistula repair surgery. To fund the most effective path toward treatment possible, we work closely with our in-country hospitals and doctors to support targeted solutions that meet local needs.

To this end, we’ve funded some interesting and outside-the-box projects. In Senegal, we funded the deployment of motorcycle ambulances that have the ability to navigate patients to care facilities quickly, even over difficult trerrain. In Afghanistan, we funded repairs that fixed a leaky roof above a main fistula operating room, where women can now receive safe surgeries no matter the weather outside. In Uganda, we funded the construction and installation of a new water tank that now guarantees that surgeons and patients have easy access to a clean, safe and reliable source of water during surgery and recovery. In partnership with Direct Relief and UNFPA, we funded development of the world’s first Global Fistula Map, the single most comprehensive source for understanding worldwide availability of treatment for women living with obstetric fistula.