Obstetric fistula is a debilitating traumatic injury, largely birth-associated, globally affecting up to 2 million women, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Fistula has significant physical, social, psychological, and economic consequences. Women often face challenges in reintegrating and resuming prior roles or are unable to lead productive lives despite the successful corrective surgery.
There’s stigma that is attached to the condition mainly due to constant foul odor and the misperception of the cause of fistula at the community level which lead to many women living with fistula for decades, most of them are usually abandoned by their spouses, others are treated as social outcasts, some due to severity of their injuries may require further medical care and the so much needed healthcare access for subsequent pregnancies and births, these are the factors that make reintegration for these women a very critical next step following successful surgical treatment.
LEFI’s goal is to promote social reintegration for fistula survivors through Solidarity Groups facilitated by trained Regional Representatives (RRs). Therefore, re-integration provides the necessary structured support system that enables the already treated women to re-integrate into their respective communities and give them an opportunity to live productive and dignified lives successfully and smoothly.