In recognition of the 2nd annual UN International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, the Global Moms Challenge interviewed Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant. The Global Moms Challenge is an initiative of the United Nations Foundation and is made possible with support from Johnson & Johnson.
23 May 2014
How did you learn about the issue of obstetric fistula and why has it become the focus of your life’s work?
In 1994, I visited the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia– that visit and meeting Dr. Hamlin changed my life. These young women were horribly injured simply for trying to bring a child into the world, but the fact that fistula is most often treatable with surgery was incredibly motivating. I feel fortunate to every day go to work with the goal of getting more women with this life-destroying injury repaired.
Please tell us a little bit about Fistula Foundation and how it addresses fistula.
Fistula Foundation is dedicated to one thing: treating obstetric fistula, because we believe that no woman should suffer a life of isolation and misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world. We partner with some of the most heroic doctors in the world to provide surgery to women with obstetric fistula. We support fistula treatment in 19 countries at 38 sites on two continents, Africa and Asia. Most women with fistula live in rural areas and are very poor, thus it is critical that surgery be provided for free to women who need it.