Bree Neely wrote -The Worldwide Fistula Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating obstetric fistula in developing countries.
Fistula is a condition caused when during prolonged childbirth when the pressure of a baby's head cuts off blood supply to its mother's tissues. Without adequate health care, the mother not only delivers a stillborn child but develops a hole in her bladder and/or rectum that causes her to leak waste continuously. It is a devastating condition made all the more so by the fact these women are often ashamed, heartbroken and shunned by their own families and communities.
The good news is that a relatively simple $400 surgery oftentimes can close a fistula and return the sufferer to good health. And the Worldwide Fistula Fund provides these surgeries for free to the women of Niger - one of the most impoverished and underdeveloped countries in the world.
It is believed that up to 3 million women in the developing world currently have an obstetric fistula. These women are frequently poor, illiterate and without access to basic health care. Fistula has all but been eradicated in western countries (due, in large part, to accessibility to C-sections) and we can eradicate them throughout the world if we can raise enough awareness and enough money to treat the existing cases and prevent new ones.