This piece was featured in Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood blog on May 23rd, the UN International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. Written by fistula surgeon Dr. Mohammed Alhaji Gana from Nigeria, it focuses on the importance of training new surgeons in the global effort to end fistula for women who are suffering. Fistula Foundation is proud to support surgeon training programs through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), which has developed a standardized curriculum for the treatment of fistula worldwide.
Freeing Women From Isolation Through One Simple Procedure
23 May 2014
By Dr. Mohammed Alhaji Gana
Consultant obstetrician gynecologist, Niger State, Nigeria
The day a baby is born should be joyful. Mothers should be filled with anticipation, envisioning an exciting future with their child. However, too many women on my ward see their baby’s day of birth as the beginning of a life filled with pain, shame and isolation.
The women I see live miles away from the nearest health facility. Often times, they gave birth alone or only with the support of someone with little training and were in labor for more than 3 days. Sadly, many of their babies could not survive the birthing process, and these women have been left childless, with obstetric fistulas resulting in incontinence.