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 their trip.
October 2014 marked the completion of the first six months of our Action on Fistula program in Kenya. Action on Fistula was launched in May and is a groundbreaking partnership between Fistula Foundation and Astellas Pharma EMEA that will deliver €1.5 million ($2 million) from 2014 – 2017 to
treat and transform the lives of women suffering from fistula in Kenya.
One of the key objectives of Action on Fistula is to train more Kenyan surgeons in fistula surgery and give them the tools needed to put their skills into practice. This is critical, as one of the barriers women face in getting fistula treatment is a lack of properly trained surgeons. We are happy to report that the first two surgeon trainees have been selected and began their training at Gynocare Fistula Center in Eldoret, Kenya on November 3 – Dr. John Omboga from Kisii District and Dr. Akwabi Wameyo from Kapenguria District. The training kicked off with an induction meeting and remarks from Kenya Program Director Lindsey Pollaczek and Gynocare founder Dr. Hillary Mabeya; Dr. Arrowsmith provided hands-on training.
The two OB/GYN surgeon trainees are passionate about helping women with fistula, and they expressed excitement and appreciation for the opportunity to be present at the training. Be on the lookout in future newsletters for updates on Drs. Omboga & Wameyo and Action on Fistula!