PICTURED ABOVE: Ruhiya, former fistula patient, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana. Ruhiya suffered from both VVF and RVF meaning that she leaking both urine and feces.
GOAL: Raise $10 000 to expand the operating theatre of Tamale Fistula Centre and cover the cost of fistula repair surgery for women and girls suffering from this condition.
THE PROBLEM: Obstetric fistula is an injury resulting from a prolonged and complicated childbirth. The baby struggles to leave the uterus, pushing against the mother's bladder or rectum, eventually causing a hole, or fistula to form. In most cases, the baby will die due to suffocation in the womb, while the mother will be left unable to control her urine or bowels. Her offensive smell will cause her husband, family and community to abandon her. Globally, there are over two million women living with this condition.
In Ghana, there are 1352 new obstetric fistula cases annually and only 100 repairs per year. These numbers are only an estimate due to the shortage of precise data on fistula. Fistula patients are also likely to hide themselves due to the shame associated with the condition. Therefore, the true number of women and girls with the condition is likely much higher.
With a population of nearly 30 million, Ghana has only 7 trained obstetric fistula surgeons, resulting in a backlog of untreated patients.
My name is Habiba Cooper Diallo. I am a passionate end fistula advocate and the founder of the Women's Health Organization International (WHOI) , a non-profit that builds awareness about this condition. In December, I travelled to Ghana and witnessed first-hand the challenges in fistula care there. My organization is leading a fundraiser that will support the expansion of the Tamale Fistula Centre's operating theatre and cover the cost of fistula repair surgery for patients at both the Tamale and Mankessim fistula repair centres. The funds raised on GoFundMe will be used for the operating theatre.
The fistula repair surgery helped Ruhiya live a normal life again. She was no longer leaking waste products and could therefore become an active member of society once again. Your contribution would help other fistula patients do the same. They would no longer live in isolation with the stigma of having this life-shattering condition.