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Action on Fistula Update

Update on Action on Fistula 1

Gynocare Certified as first FIGO Training Center in Kenya

Action on Fistula is a three-year, $2 million effort to treat women in Kenya who are suffering from obstetric fistula. Funded through a generous donation by Astellas Pharma EMEA, Action on Fistula will provide free surgeries to 1,200 women, provide training to expand the pool of surgeons in Kenya who are able to treat obstetric fistula, and establish a network of facilities that can share resources and more quickly refer patients to treatment with the shortest waiting period possible.

Gynocare, a fistula treatment center in Eldoret, Kenya, has been certified as the first FIGO accredited fistula training center in Kenya. Surgical trainees will be selected by FIGO and placed at Gynocare, where their training will be sponsored by the Action on Fistula program.

“The certification of Gynocare as a FIGO training center is an important opportunity to improve long-term capacity for fistula surgery in Kenya,” said Fistula Foundation Kenya Program Director Lindsey Pollaczek. “Action on Fistula is a team effort that will draw on the expertise and insight of very dedicated fistula surgeons already on the ground as we
work together to build a new cadre of trained providers to help women who suffer from obstetric fistula.”

Fistula Surgeons Meet in Kenya on Action on Fistula Program

Last month, Ms. Pollaczek convened a meeting of surgeons providing fistula treatment in Kenya to discuss the Action on Fistula program and how its design can best suit the ongoing fistula treatment efforts in country. Surgeons from Nairobi,Kisumu, Kitale and Eldoret were in attendance at this meeting, as was Fistula Foundation Medical and Programs Director, Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, who has worked for 27 years providing obstetric fistula surgery in more than 15 countries.

Update on Action on Fistula 2

Surgeons in attendance talked about the design and implementation of the surgeon training program. The Action on Fistula treatment network was also discussed, and surgeons provided input about how best to coordinate patient referrals between sites, how to understand treatment capacity at each center and how to coordinate visiting surgeons at network facilities in order to increase the overall capacity for women to get treatment.

An application process is involved for facilities that want to join the network. Upon acceptance into the program, Fistula Foundation provides the facility with funding through Action on Fistula that will help expand their treatment efforts. This funding includes, but is not limited to: funds that cover the cost of surgeries, new equipment, medical supplies or other materials related to fistula care.

To date, four facilities have been officially accepted into the treatment network: Gynocare, Jamaa Mission Hospital, Cherangany Nursing Home and Kisumu East District Hospital. Additional facilities have already expressed interest in applying to the program and it is hoped that at least one more site will be added by the end of this year.

This article originally appeared in our Fall 2014 newsletter. Click here to read the entire newsletter.

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