The EngenderHealth News Blog
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Repairing and Preventing Obstetric Fistula in Sierra Leone

At the Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) in Freetown, Sierra Leone, women from around the country receive life-changing surgery to repair obstetric fistula. This year, AWC opened an emergency obstetric services department so that more women have the chance to avoid developing this devastating and eminently preventable condition.

EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Project, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), partners with the Aberdeen Women’s Centre, where more than 1,000 fistula repairs have been performed since the partnership began in 2007. Restoring health and dignity to the women of Sierra Leone is a tall order, given that the nation’s rate of maternal mortality is among the highest in the world. Now, in addition to supporting fistula repair services (e.g., surgeries, postoperative care, nutrition, housing, and patient recruitment), Fistula Care is supporting training for nurse midwives, medical supplies, and prenatal screenings in the new maternity wing.

Read more and view a slideshow at

Spotlight on Tanzania

Kisa and Stanley, a couple in their 30s living in Arusha, Tanzania, are proud parents of five healthy children—and that was enough for them. Before EngenderHealth’s ACQUIRE Tanzania Project (ATP), with support from the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), partnered with their local health clinic to make a range of contraceptive options available, they were resigned to the possibility of Kisa’s becoming pregnant again—a prospect that caused her endless worry. But, according to Stanley, contraception has “helped us plan our life, and take care of our family.”