Women in the most remote corners of the world are giving birth at home, alone. If a woman’s labor becomes obstructed, she has almost no way of seeking medical intervention and she will likely lose her baby. If she survives labor, she is too often subjected to another horror: the injury known as obstetric fistula, which will render her incontinent, leaking wastes.
Left untreated, a fistula can ruin a woman’s life: a woman with fistula is often left by her husband, ostracized by her community and left to fend for herself because others cannot stand her smell. However, when she has access to a $450 fistula repair, a woman’s life is transformed; she no longer has to suffer the shame and embarrassment caused by her incontinence and she can resume living a healthy and productive life.
The Fistula Foundation believes that no woman should suffer a life of isolation and misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world. That's why we are dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for fistula repair, prevention, and educational programs throughout 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, to help end the suffering caused by obstetric fistula.
We fund more fistula repair surgeries worldwide than any other nonprofit not receiving government funding. Based in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the foundation is honored to have received seven consecutive 4-Star ratings from Charity Navigator; only 2 percent of charities have received this designation.