“Women with obstetric fistula sometimes die in shame abandoned by their families and often suffer lifelong physical and emotional effects – but there is hope. Skilled professionals know how to treat patients. With support, those who have been ostracized can reintegrate into their societies.”
Secretay-General Ban Ki-moon, 23 May 2013
Obstetric fistula is a preventable and treatable childbearing injury - the result of prolonged, obstructed labour. It leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. A debilitating condition that has left — and continues to leave — hundreds of thousands of women suffering in solitude and shame, obstetric fistula is perhaps one of the most telling examples of inequitable access to maternal health care and, until recently, one of the most hidden.
Over 300 million women worldwide sufferfrom complications of pregnancy and delivery. For every woman who dies of maternal related causes, at least 20 women experience a maternal morbidity, of which obstetric fistula is one of the most severe forms.
The Campaign to End Fistula, launched by UNFPA and partners in 2003 is now present in 50 countries across Africa, Asia and the Arab region.
In its resolution A/RES/67/147, the General Assembly calls on the international community to use the International Day to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula.