Evangel Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center: 25th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith celebrates with fistula patients at the joyous ceremony. Photography by Sam Olukoya

With over 175 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Despite its wealth in culture and resources, Nigeria has high rates of maternal and infant mortality, and holds the highest burden of obstetric fistula in the world.

Located in Jos, Nigeria, the Evangel Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center (EVVF) is led by experienced Nigerian surgeon Dr. Sunday Lengmang, and is dedicated to the work to end the suffering of women with fistula in Nigeria. The center is building a reputation as a location for fine surgeon training, serving a steady stream of doctors.

EVVF patient ward in Jos, Nigeria. Photography by Sam Olukoya

Every year in March, EVVF holds a large celebration and reunion of fistula patients. This year was special– on March 11, 2017, the center celebrated its 25th anniversary. Fistula Foundation Medical Director Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, who originally founded the fistula program at EVVF, attended the celebration. This joyous occasion drew women from many different, hard to reach, and often insecure areas who are at various stages of recovery, reintegration, and treatment – a testament to the importance of this celebration.

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith celebrates with fistula patients at the joyous ceremony. Photography by Sam Olukoya

It’s been amazing to be here for the 25th anniversary. The center has done 10,000 repairs now, and it’s mind-blowing to see how it has grown and excelled over these 25 years, knowing what a small start it had. I’m very, very proud of that. – Dr. Steve Arrowsmith

Fistula Foundation has funded EVVF since 2010. Our funding provides fistula repair surgeries free of charge, extensive community outreach and patient screening, training for healthcare providers and surgeons, as well as physiotherapy, psychological counseling, health and nutrition classes, and a post-surgery skills training program. Thanks to your support, hundreds of women’s lives have been transformed.

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of our newsletter, Transformations.

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