What is obstetric Fistula?

An obstetric fistula occurs during an obstructed labour when emergency care is unavailable.

Women suffering from obstructed labour often struggle until the baby dies.  During this agonising process loss of circulation causes tissue to die, leaving large gaps between the birth canal and bladder or rectum, causing incontinence.

Most women and girls suffering with obstetric fistula are ostracised by their families and communities as they smell and are constantly wet, leaving them to live as outcasts.

Fistula is all but eradicated in the developed world.

In contrast, it occurs to thousands of women and girls in Africa every day and they have no-one to help.

It’s important to remember that behind every statistic is a woman or girl suffering. A woman just like your mother, sister, aunt, friend.  A girl just like your daughter.

These women and girls deserve to be more than statistics, they deserve decent healthcare when they bring their children into the world.


  • 1 woman every 2 seconds is seriously injured or disabled giving birth
  • An estimated 2 million women and girls in Africa live with obstetric fistula
  • It is estimated that another 100,000 develop the condition every year
  • More than 500,000 women die each year during pregnancy or childbirth, mostly in developing nations
  • 80% of these deaths are completely avoidable
  • In 2005, 8 million women around the world experienced life-threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth

*Source: AFri-Dev.Info