Why Do We Work in Liberia?
Over the last decade, Liberia has struggled to increase its poor maternal health outcomes – maternal mortality is high, skilled attendance at birth is low, and early childbearing remains common. The recent Ebola outbreak has only further devastated an already struggling health infrastructure. Overwhelmed systems and widespread panic have posed barriers to essential health care, including maternal health services. Lack of essential supplies, illness among health care providers, and fear of infection among staff have all contributed to the widespread closure of health facilities. As a result there has been a sharp increase in pregnant women without access to emergency obstetric care or a health facility in which to give birth. Thus, we have good reason to anticipate a growing number of new cases of obstetric fistula in Liberia.
These new patients, as well as the backlog of existing fistula cases, are in urgent need of regular health services again and access to fistula care.
What You Help Us Do In Liberia
We’re helping fund:
- Fistula surgeries
- Fistula surgery training
- Community outreach
Family Medical Hospital, Monrovia
How much funding have we granted?
$266,100 in FY2015
Who’s our partner?
We provide grant support to this hospital through Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA).
How will this help women in Liberia?
Family Medical Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, provides basic fistula care services with up to six beds available for fistula patients. However, the Ebola crisis temporarily halted all fistula activities at the hospital. Liberia has since been declared Ebola-free several times by WHO; however, each time new cases of Ebola emerged, presenting an ongoing challenge. This project is helping the hospital resume and expand its fistula services, which will be vital in responding to the expected increase in new cases. Funding supports the purchase of new equipment, training for local staff from WAHA’s expert surgeons, patient outreach and mobilization, and surgeries for 150 women. It is our hope that this project will help the fistula unit get back on its feet and pave the way for the availability of continued fistula care in Liberia.
Where is Liberia?
Facts About Liberia
- Average births per woman:4.6
- Physicians per 10,000 people:0.1
- Births attended by skilled personnel:46.3%
- Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 28(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
- Female life expectancy:60.8 years
- Female literacy:32.8%
- Population living in rural areas:51.3%
- Population living in poverty:63.8%(less than $1.25/day)
- Surgeries completed through Fistula Foundation funding to date:111
Sources: CIA World Factbook; WHO; World Bank