Why Do We Work in Uganda?
Uganda’s northern region has been tormented by one of Africa’s most brutal rebellions, causing widespread insecurity and a huge refugee crisis. Against such a backdrop it is difficult for government, health care and the economy to function effectively. Such system failure is the root cause of fistula. Access to quality health care services is limited, necessary supplies and training for fistula surgery are lacking, and stigmatization and high transport costs are preventing women from seeking treatment. Fistula Foundation is working with grassroots organizations in rural Uganda to address these key issues.
What You Help Us Do In Uganda
We’re helping fund:
- Fistula surgeries
- Community outreach
- Reintegration support
- Facilities and equipment
The Association for the Rehabilitation and Re-Orientation of Women for Development (TERREWODE), Soroti
Kitovu Hospital, Masaka
Kagando Mission Hospital, Kagando
Uganda Village Project, Iganga
University of California, San Francisco, USA (Safe Motherhood-Uganda)
Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU), Kisubi
How much funding have we granted?
$14,000 in FY2014
$175,000 in FY2013
$150,000 in FY2012
$50,000 in FY2011
$29,405 in FY2016
$7,430 in FY2015
$31,626 in FY2014
$15,707 in FY2013
$10,000 in FY2012
Kagando Mission Hospital
$43,426 in FY2016
$173,250 in FY2015
$128,023 in FY2014
$25,060 in FY2013
Uganda Village Project
$13,133 in FY2016
$25,707 in FY2015
$17,801 in FY2013
UC San Francisco – Safe Motherhood
$26,678 in FY2014
$49,990 in FY2016
$22,000 in FY2015
$8,000 in FY2014
Who are our partners?
We provide grant support directly to these organizations.
How will this help women in Uganda?
TERREWODE is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving maternal health and the lives of women and girls in Uganda. Their fistula program focuses on raising awareness, screening and identifying patients in rural communities, and providing free treatment. During the last grant period, funding from Fistula Foundation supported free treatment for 30 women as well as an outreach and community mobilization campaign.
Kitovu Hospital in Masaka offers a variety of women’s health services to the surrounding region, including maternal health and fistula care. The hospital hosts 4-6 fistula clinics throughout the year, treating around 60 women at each. Funding from Fistula Foundation supports surgical costs for a portion of these women as well as associated expenses such as meals and follow-up care. From 2013 to 2014, we also funded an incinerator for the fistula ward to ensure proper disposal of medical waste, a new water tank, and new stoves for the fistula ward’s kitchen.
In the past, Kagando Mission Hospital treated fistula at periodic clinics throughout the year. Thanks to increased capacity and sustained support from Fistula Foundation, they are now able to offer routine fistula services directly at the hospital. During the current phase of this project, funding from Fistula Foundation will support free surgeries for 300 women as well as their transportation, accommodation and meal expenses. It will also provide a small amount of support for surgeon training, new equipment, and counseling/reintegration services. We also provided support for a 2015 fistula treatment clinic at the hospital that treated nearly 100 women over eleven days.
Uganda Village Project (UVP) works with marginalized populations in Iganga on issues related to health and sustainable development. One of their main projects is a ‘Fistula Ambassador’ program that was launched in 2014. Through this program, fistula survivors are identified and trained to become ambassadors in their communities – they conduct outreach sessions to raise awareness and identify and refer fistula patients for treatment. During the first year of the program, UVP trained 18 Fistula Ambassadors which led to 60 women being identified for surgery and countless community members learning more about obstetric fistula. Current funding will help maintain and expand the ambassador program, and also cover the transportation and accommodation expenses for 25 patients during surgery. In 2015, 20 additional Fistula Ambassadors were trained and 3 outreaches were conducted.
It can be very difficult to track obstetric fistula patients after treatment, and little is known about how fistula repair affects a woman’s quality of life and her ability to regain her role in her community. We provided funding to University of California – San Francisco’s Safe Motherhood Program to develop a mixed-methods research project to reduce this knowledge gap through the study “Beyond Repair: Family and Community Reintegration after Obstetric Fistula Surgery.” Their research will ultimately result in a tool to assess the success of reintegration and help to improve reintegration services for women recovering from fistula. The research team will also look at the role of caregivers, who may experience their own form of stigma within their communities when assisting someone with fistula, and take into account their feedback about how to better optimize patient reintegration efforts. Research findings will be disseminated to Ugandan NGOs, presented at relevant research conferences and will be submitted for publication in an academic journal.
Established in 2006, Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU)’s vision is for people with disabilities in Uganda to be able to access rehabilitation services that improve their quality of life and help them fully integrate in society. With help in part from Fistula Foundation, CoRSU established fistula repair services at their facility in Kisubi as part of a pilot project in 2014. Based on the success of that project, CoRSU now offers one-week fistula repair clinics twice a year to help women in the region get the treatment they need. In 2015, psychological support, group sessions, and follow up interviews were provided to patients in addition to repair surgeries.
Where is Uganda?
Facts About Uganda
- Average births per woman:4.8
- Physicians per 10,000 people:1.2
- Births attended by skilled personnel:58%
- Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 47(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
- Female life expectancy:56.9 years
- Female literacy:71.5%
- Population living in rural areas:86.9%
- Population living in poverty:18.7%(less than $1.25/day)
- Surgeries completed through Fistula Foundation funding to date:1350
Sources: CIA World Fact Book; WHO, World Bank.