Why Do We Work in Chad?
In 2003 the Chadian government adopted a “National Strategy to End Fistula.” While there has been some progress implementing this strategy, a number of ongoing challenges have severely undermined its effectiveness: poverty, drought, political instability, an influx of refugees from neighboring Sudan, and poor access to maternal healthcare and emergency obstetric services. Risk factors such as early marriage, lack of skilled birthing attendants, and a high fertility rate coupled with an even higher maternal mortality rate and grinding poverty in general have also contributed to the problem.
An enormous backlog of untreated patients exists that is far in excess of the country’s treatment capacity. Our partner, Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA), estimates that 456 new cases at least occur every year. The facilities that do exist to treat fistula often report a lack of materials and training, which has undoubtedly contributed to the prevalence of women who require a second — and sometimes third or fourth — surgery. This is of grave concern because an initial failed surgery attempt increases the level of difficulty of subsequent surgeries, making a complete fistula repair in the future less probable. Building capacity among surgeons, fistula care providers and facilities is key to successfully addressing fistula in Chad.
What You Help Us Do In Chad
We’re helping fund:
- Fistula surgeries
- Surgeon training
- Building capacity
Center for Reproductive Health & Fistula Repair, N’Djamena
How much funding have we granted?
$231,500 in FY2014
$338,000 in FY2013
$150,900 in FY2012
$111,300 in FY2011
Who is our partner?
We provide grant support to this center through Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA).
How will this help women in Chad?
The Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair was opened in 2011 and is the main fistula treatment and referral center in the country. Its strategic location in the capital city of N’Djamena makes treatment more accessible for women in Chad as well as neighboring countries like Niger and Cameroon. Outreach activities have also been focused in the Mandoul, Logone Occidental and Ouddai regions. Since 2011, our support has enabled the facility to double the number of hospital beds dedicated to fistula patients, refurbish an existing operating room, and open a second operating room. This support has also helped the center to improve facilities such as the kitchen and laundry room, and, most importantly, to steadily increase the number of surgeries to the point where the center has now successfully reached full capacity.
Foundation support has also allowed doctors to undergo advanced training in fistula surgery by internationally renowned fistula experts, and nurses have been trained in effective pre- and post-operative patient care. This has allowed the facility to free up funds to introduce additional support services such as social reintegration, psychological counseling and basic skills training. The center hopes to to become a regional training center not only for Chadian doctors, but also for doctors from neighboring countries.
Where is Chad?
Facts About Chad
- Average births per woman:4.68
- Physicians per 10,000 people:0.4
- Births attended by skilled personnel:16.6%
- Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 15(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
- Female life expectancy:50.63 years
- Female literacy:25.4%
- Population living in rural areas:78.1%
- Population living in poverty:80%(less than $1.25/day)
- Surgeries completed through Fistula Foundation funding to date:1013
Sources: CIA World Fact Book; WHO, World Bank.