Now more than ever

Together, we can eradicate the suffering caused by obstetric fistula.

We’re on a mission to end fistula globally, one woman at at time.

From 2000 to 2009, Fistula Foundation supported a single hospital in Ethiopia. But we knew that at least one million women across Africa and Asia were living in misery and isolation—simply for trying to bring a child into the world.

On February 27, 2009, we expanded our mission to fight fistula globally. Today, because of exceptional support from people like you, we are helping more than 20 times as many women as we were a decade ago. 

Over time, we have become the global leader in supporting fistula treatment. No other organization brings healing to more women who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries. In addition, we have a proven countrywide treatment model that we have expanded to multiple countries. 

In recent years, we have steadily increased support for the treatment of severe perineal tears, a childbirth injury that leaves a woman incontinent of feces. Today, helping women with this devastating condition accounts for about 20% of the repair surgeries that we provide.

How did Fistula Foundation start?

Fistula Foundation was founded in 2000 as an all-volunteer organization to support the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, a pioneering fistula treatment facility in Ethiopia.

Our success over the next decade enabled us to expand our mission dramatically in 2009. That year, we adopted a global strategy to end the suffering caused by fistula. Since then, as a result of rapid growth, we have supported treatment for women in need at sites in 34 countries across Africa and Asia. We now fund more obstetric fistula surgeries in more countries than any other organization.

How has the Foundation’s work evolved since 2009?

The first site outside Ethiopia where we extended our reach was the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country known as “the worst place on earth to be a woman.” We partnered with Dr. Denis Mukwege. Today, Mukwege is our longest-standing partner, and we were delighted when he won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his important work.

Since then, our strategy for providing high-quality fistula surgery has been to amplify the efforts of local doctors and hospitals. We rely on the expertise of our partner surgeons, nurses, and outreach workers to provide effective, respectful, high-quality care. Learn about how we work

Today, after a decade of successful partnership, Fistula Foundation is funding more surgeries for more women than any other organization in the world. Since expanding in 2009, we have supported more than 130 partners in 34 countries. Learn about where we work

As of August 2023, we have provided more than 80,000 life-changing surgeries.

Our bottom line: How many women can we help through life-changing repair surgeries?

With leadership comes responsibility

To appreciate the role that Fistula Foundation now plays in treating childbirth injuries such as fistula, consider the overall landscape of organizations that are working to address these devastating conditions.

The Global Leader

Fistula Foundation is now the leading funder in the field of fistula treatment. Over the past decade, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations Population Fund have decreased their spending on fistula care. And no other organization, public or private, has made a comparable commitment to fistula treatment. That leaves us.

Decreases in government funding make our work more important than ever. Your support ensures that women with fistula will receive the care they need.

Thank you for visiting Fistula Foundation!

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