Why Do We Work in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh has been praised for its progress in development over the last decade, in part a result of its investment in health and education, especially for women. Maternal mortality has dropped dramatically, the gender gap in primary education has been closed, and women have a presence in national and local governments and have gained more independence through their entrance en masse to the workforce.

Despite these momentous achievements, there is still much work to be done, particularly for women in rural areas. Births in rural areas still most commonly take place at home without a skilled attendant, and there are little, if any, ambulatory or emergency services available in the event of complications. In addition, women living with fistula in rural areas of Bangladesh are too often hidden from society or hesitant to come forward due to the social stigma attached to their condition, and often do not know that treatment options are available.

What You Help Us Do in Bangladesh

We’re helping fund:

  • Fistula surgeries
  • Community outreach
  • Surgeon training
  • Equipment


Hope Hospital, Cox’s Bazar

How much funding have we granted?

$99,760 in FY2017
$239,600 in FY2016
$110,868 in FY2015
$158,463 in FY2014
$110,000 in FY2013
$22,883 in FY2012
$54,326 in FY2011
$35,000 in FY2010

Who is our partner?

We provide grant support to this hospital through Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh.

How will this help women in Bangladesh?

Since partnering with Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh at their hospital in Cox’s Bazar in 2010, there has been much progress in the treatment of fistula in Bangladesh. The hospital’s gynecologist, Dr. Nrinmoy Biswas, was one of the first global candidates to undergo training through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Fistula Surgery Training Initiative. Funding from Fistula Foundation supported Dr. Biswas’ surgical training under renowned fistula surgeon Dr. Mulu Muleta of Gondar University Hospital in Ethiopia. As a result of this training, Dr. Biswas and his team are now able to provide treatment year-round to women suffering from fistula. Hope Hospital is the only institution in Bangladesh that provides surgeries and all associated expenses (transportation, hospital stay, rehabilitation, etc.) at no cost to patients.

Within the last year, Fistula Foundation has supported fistula treatment for more than 110 women in Bangladesh, including pre- and postoperative care and follow-up visits. We have also funded extensive patient outreach, including an ambassador program in which cured fistula patients receive training so they can educate people in their home communities about the condition—what it is, how to prevent it, and how to help women who are suffering from this injury. In 2016, funding from Fistula Foundation allowed the hospital to purchase a backup generator to help ensure patient safety in the event of frequent power outages, and to allow hospital staff to safely conduct more surgeries per day. In 2017, funding has also allowed for outreach to be conducted in remote areas, with midwives operating at the village level. Ongoing training has also been conducted for health workers, midwives, nurses, and one surgeon.

Funding from Fistula Foundation also supports training for fistula care providers, helping position Hope Hospital for its next phase of fistula care: opening the first dedicated fistula treatment center in all of Bangladesh.


Where is Bangladesh?


Facts About Bangladesh

  • Population:168,957,745
  • Average births per woman:2.45
  • Physicians per 10,000 people:3.6
  • Births attended by skilled personnel:42%
  • Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 240(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
  • Female life expectancy:72.94 years
  • Female literacy:58.5%
  • Population living in rural areas:71.1%
  • Population living in poverty:43.3%(less than $1.25/day)
  • Surgeries completed through Fistula Foundation funding to date:350

Sources: CIA World Fact Book; WHO, World Bank.

We’re Making a Difference in Bangladesh

Meet Jahanara from Bangladesh

Jahanara is just 23 years old. She was in labor for a full day at home before going to a hospital for an emergency C-section. By then, unfortunately, the damage had already been done.

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