Obstetric fistula is a reproductive health challenge, a maternal health complication which is considered a basic women right violation when a woman in labor is unable to access timely, high-quality, and life-saving maternal health care that she so desperately needs and deserve (emergency obstetric care) to deliver her baby safely.
Obstetric Fistula is almost exclusively a condition of the poorest, most vulnerable, and most marginalized women and girls.
A fistula is a hole that develops between the birth canal and the bladder and/or rectum through which a woman will leaks urine and/or feces uncontrollably, with life-shattering consequences. Due to constant foul odor and misperception of the causes of fistula, women with fistula are profoundly stigmatized, unable to work or participate in any aspect of family or community life, they become deeply marginalized.
Most women do not understand what has happened to them and are unaware that treatment is possible because they are poor and isolated. Women live with untreated fistula sometimes for decades falling further into poverty.