My Digital Action Campaign

Posted May 8, 2017 from Ethiopia
Giving Hope to Fistula patients at the Hamlin Fistula Centre in Addis Ababa

Campaign to End Obstetric Fistula

As a gender equality activist and a feminist, a mother and African woman is no surprising my stand on many issues that affect the girl child. Girls and women in the rural communities especially in Africa, India and south America are the most marginalised when it comes to things like poverty, child labour, child marriages, rape, abduction, poor maternal health care no access to education, FGM, Fistula etc. I see all these as a violation of human rights and social and economic injustice which must be addressed. Hence my campaign to help End Obstetric fistula as my own little contribution to close the gender inequality gap.

What is Obstetric Fistula

- Obstetric Fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries.

- It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour (that can often last for six to seven days!!!), without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment.

- It leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty

- Obstetric fistula usually occurs because of lack of maternal health care, which is why it is prevalent in rural communities in developing countries. It is very common to very young girls as their body is very ready to endure the long hours of labour pains hence one of the reasons why we discourage child marriage

why is it important to end Fistula?

- Obstetric fistula is a stark outcome of gender inequalities, human rights denial and poor access to reproductive health services, including maternal and new-born care, and an indication of high levels of maternal death and disability.

- The psychological harm suffered by its victims make it a form of violence against women as per the definition of Violence Against Women (VAW) by the United Nations Declaration on Elimination of violence against women (1993) as: "… any act of gender based violence that results in physical sexual and psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life".

- Some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually. Yet it is almost entirely preventable.

- victims of fistula are usually stigmatized, ostracised, have a very low self-esteem and very often seen as a cursed to their families and communities

What ismy Campaign Goal and in what ways I intend to achievemy objectives?

- My goal is to End Obstetric Fistula

- To raise awareness about obstetric fistula through sensitisation campaigns in communities that lack maternal health care facilities

- Also reach out to victims of fistula by working in collaboration with organisations/institutions that provide direct care services

- To rehabilitate girls and women suffering from obstetric fistula

- To improve gender equity in health, acknowledging that women’s rights to better health is one of the most direct and potent ways to achieve social justice and bring change to whole communities.

- My intention is to set up a Non-governmental organisation through which programmes will be run.

How to Get Involved

Twitter: @bridgendergap




Comments 2

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Jill Langhus
May 09, 2017
May 09, 2017

Hi Stelz. Thanks for sharing your elevator pitch and mission. I hope you are able to end this horrible condition. I remember the first time I read about it and couldn't believe anything like this even existed. Truly awful. I can't wait to hear your progress on development of your organization and progress to end this condition.

Hannah B
Aug 10, 2017
Aug 10, 2017

Hi Stelz,

Thank you for sharing this important information!  This is such a critical area of work and I hope that you find all of the support and encouragement that you need on World Pulse.