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


Please note: Fistula Foundation is not currently funding active work in Rwanda.

Why Do We Work in Rwanda?

Two decades after the tragic Rwandan genocide, Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. Over 80% of the population lives in rural areas and around two thirds live in poverty. Despite these challenges, Rwanda has made substantial progress in its maternal health indicators in recent years: the maternal mortality rate has dropped from 750 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 480 in 100,000; 98% of pregnant women receive prenatal care; 69% of deliveries are performed at health centers with the assistance of skilled personnel; and the average age of a woman’s first birth has risen to 22 years, reflecting a sharp decrease in early marriage. Nevertheless, there continues to be a growing backlog of untreated cases in Rwanda as years of civil unrest and limited access to fistula services prevented women from seeking treatment.

What You Help Us Do In Rwanda

We’re helping fund:

  • Fistula surgeries
  • Surgeon training
  • Community outreach
  • Equipment


University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), Kigali

How much funding have we granted?

$50,185 in FY2014

Who is our partner?

We provided grant support to this hospital through Eagle Research Center.

How will this help women in Rwanda?

This project aimed to provide regular obstetric fistula services to women in Rwanda through the establishment of the country’s first routine, comprehensive fistula care center at the University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK). In addition to equipping the center with necessary medical supplies, funding from Fistula Foundation helped to build the capacity of the nation’s leading gynecologists and address the major barriers that women in Rwanda face to getting treatment, including raising awareness in local communities and providing for transportation and food costs during treatment and recovery.

Where is Rwanda?

Fistula Foundation: Rwanda - Map

Facts About Rwanda

  • Population:12,337,138
  • Average births per woman:4.62
  • Physicians per 10,000 people:0.6
  • Births attended by skilled personnel:69%
  • Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 66(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
  • Female life expectancy:65.2 years
  • Female literacy:61.5%
  • Population living in rural areas:80.6%
  • Population living in poverty:63.2%(less than $1.25/day)

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

We’re Making a Difference in Rwanda

Meet Umuhoza from Rwanda

Umuhoza arrived at the hospital with two massive fistulas and could barely walk. She was so traumatized by her labor that she could not remember any details. Today she is healed, but the road to recovery has been long and difficult.

New Project in Rwanda

In October 2014, our Medical & Programs Director, Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, and Communications Associate, Ashley Burke, traveled to East Africa to represent Fistula Foundation at the 2014 ISOFS conference. While in the region, they also had the opportunity to visit several of our partner sites in Uganda, Kenya & Rwanda. Here is a highlight from…

Your Donations At Work: Rwanda/Somaliland

This August, Fistula Foundation partner surgeon Dr. Lauri Romanzi led a collaborative fistula training exercise for surgeon trainees from Rwanda and Somaliland. Carried out at Edna Adan University Hospital and National Boroma Fistula Hospital in Somaliland, the training was a great success. 56 surgeries were completed and Dr. Romanzi reported that the six trainees in…