Why Do We Work in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe suffered extreme hyperinflation and an acute economic crisis in the early 2000s, causing a quarter of its population to flee the country or become internally displaced. Although the country has significant natural resources, many Zimbabweans have not seen tangible economic benefits in their everyday lives.

Zimbabwe is just beginning the long road to economic recovery and growth, but its healthcare infrastructure remains weak. What little health resources there are tend to be focused on the overwhelming HIV/AIDS and cholera epidemics that afflict the country; access to maternal health care is limited. With few physicians and even fewer gynecologists, Zimbabwe faces an enormous backlog of obstetric fistula patients and there is a tremendous need to build capacity in the area of treating fistula.

What You Help Us Do in Zimbabwe

We’re helping fund:

  • Fistula surgeries
  • Reintegration support


Parirenyatwa (Pari) Hospital, Harare
Harare Central Hospital, Harare

How much funding have we granted?

WAHA – Parirenyatwa Hospital
$319,500 in FY2015
$134,800 in FY2014
$10,000 in FY2013

Who is our partner?

We provide grant support to these hospitals through Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA).

How will this help women in Zimbabwe?

Through this project, expert fistula surgeon Dr. Ambaye Wolde Michael visits Pari Hospital on a regular basis to repair extremely complex cases of fistula and train hospital staff in fistula care and surgery. With current funding, 100 women will receive high-quality fistula treatment as well as transportation to and from the hospital free of charge. Based on the success of this project in 2014, it was extended to Harare Central Hospital to ensure timely and adequate care for more women.

Local networks and community mobilization efforts have also been expanded with the aim of identifying more new patients and reducing myth and stigma about fistula. This is being carried out through an outreach campaign that includes radio, TV, newspaper and mobile phone announcements.

Finally, Dr. Michael will continue to provide on-the-job training until a more formal training program can be established.

Where is Zimbabwe?


Facts About Zimbabwe

  • Population:14,149,648
  • Average births per woman:3.56
  • Physicians per 10,000 people:0.6
  • Births attended by skilled personnel:66.2%
  • Lifetime risk of maternal death:1 in 53(chances a woman will die during childbirth)
  • Female life expectancy:55.97 years
  • Female literacy:80.1%
  • Population living in rural areas:60.9%
  • Surgeries completed through Fistula Foundation funding to date:199

Sources: CIA World Factbook; WHO; World Bank

We’re Making a Difference in Zimbabwe

Fistula Foundation - Maria

Meet Maria from Zimbabwe

Maria is 42 years old. She is HIV-positive and currently on antiretroviral therapy. Maria doesn’t have a permanent place to live – she cannot work because of her incontinence, and has no real income to live on. She survives through the ongoing support of her relatives and friends.
Your Donations at Work - Zimbabwe

Your Donations at Work: Zimbabwe

Following a pilot project in 2013, we were able to establish routine fistula care services in Zimbabwe in conjunction with our long-term partner, Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA). Over the last year, 198 women received free, life-transforming repair surgeries at Parirenyatwa Hospital and Harare Central Hospital thanks to your support. These women also received…

Voice of America

US-Based Fistula Foundation to Launch Zimbabwe Pilot Program

An interview with Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant was featured on Voice of America Zimbabwe this week. The interview focuses on the physical and social consequences of obstetric fistula and a pilot program in Zimbabwe to help women suffering from fistula get the treatment they need.   US-Based Fistula Foundation to Launch Zimbabwe Pilot Program…

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