Teaming Up for Good

From left to right: Denis Robson of J&J with Fistula Foundation partner surgeons Dr. Mulu Muleta and Dr. Serigne Gueye

Small Grants Partnership with Johnson & Johnson

In 2012, Fistula Foundation and Johnson & Johnson developed a joint program to identify and fund facilities that have the capacity to treat more women suffering from obstetric fistula, but lack the funds to do so. This partnership was sparked by the 2012 launch of the Global Fistula Map, an initiative amongst Direct Relief, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Fistula Foundation to assess the current state of obstetric fistula treatment around the world and identify regions in need. Johnson & Johnson has committed $325,000 to Fistula Foundation for the program between 2013 and 2014.

Through the partnership, grants of up to $35,000 are provided to partners who have demonstrated they have the capacity to increase the number of women who will receive fistula treatment and improve the quality of service provided to these women. The grants are small, targeted and effective. In total, around 375 women will benefit from this partnership and receive life-transforming fistula treatment. Other benefits include updated equipment and medical supplies, increased outreach campaigns and patient recruitment, and more training for nurses and other care staff. To date, we have distributed grants to 15 projects in eight countries.

New Anesthesia Machine in action

New anesthesia machine in action

One Small Grants partner is the National Boroma Fistula Hospital (NBFH) in Boroma, Somaliland. NBFH is the only hospital in Somaliland dedicated specifically to fistula treatment and provides a variety of services, such as rehabilitation and skills training for fistula patients, awareness campaigns on radio and TV, and training for community health workers to better identify and refer fistula patients for treatment. They have three full-time fistula surgeons who performed 225 surgeries in 2013, and they hope to increase that number to over 400 annually. However, lack of equipment – an anesthesia machine in particular – was hindering their ability to increase the number of surgeries performed. With funding from the Small Grants Partnership in 2013, NBFH was able to purchase a new anesthesia machine for the operating room and a portable anesthesia machine for mobile surgery clinics that will allow them to treat more women than ever before.

This article originally appeared in our Fall 2014 newsletter. Click here to read the entire newsletter.

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