Many people don’t realize that finding fistula patients can be just as difficult as treating them! Fistula is such a traumatizing and isolating condition that women are often reluctant to come forward, and some are not even aware that they have a medical condition for which treatment is available.
Our partners at Uganda Village Project (UVP) recently launched an innovative “Fistula Ambassador” program in eight districts in Eastern Uganda. This program trains fistula survivors to become fistula ambassadors and advocates in their local communities, raising awareness and reducing stigma through outreach and education. Women often feel more comfortable coming forward knowing these advocates have been through the same ordeal. So far, 18 fistula ambassadors have been trained and more patients are being identified and referred for treatment than ever before.
This article originally appeared in Fistula Foundation’s Summer 2014 newsletter. Click here to view a PDF of the entire newsletter.