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Danja Fistula Surgery and Training Center (97516)

UPDATE


Video: Women Dancing After Surgery

Video: Worldwide Fistula Fund

An estimated 100,000 women and girls suffer from obstetric fistulas in Niger Republic, with approximately 8,000 new cases added annually. Child birth at a young age and malnutrition predispose adolescent girls to developing fistulas. In Niger more than one-third (36%) of girls ages 15 to 19 have already been pregnant and/or have children. Niger has both the highest fertility rate and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. While significant strides have been made toward combating obstetric fistula, the scope of the problem remains immense.

SIM Niger is partnering with Worldwide Fistula Fund to build and operate a new surgical center which will offer a comprehensive range of short- and long-term services to women suffering from fistula. Further, the WFF plans to advance the message of hope by replicating this Center in other developing nations of the world.

Within just five years, the Center will:

  • provide care for 2,500 women with fistula, and 1000 per year after that
  • train at least 30 doctors from Niger and other African countries in fistula repair
  • develop community-based programs to aid in the prevention of obstructed labor (the major cause of fistula)

What is fistula? Fistula is an internal injury that occurs during difficult or obstructed labor when a woman doesn't have access to proper medical care. The vaginal injury hinders a woman's ability to "hold" her urine or feces. Instead, her waste leaks or flows out freely. Terrified, ashamed and often grieving the loss of a stillborn child, fistula sufferers are cast out of their marriages and homes. They are unable to work, socialize or even feed themselves. As one might expect, this condition is so devastating that it can lead to severe depression and even suicide. Fistula and its horrible aftermath often strike the youngest mothers—ages 12, 13, or 14—whose pelvises are not large enough to pass their babies through. Fistula has devastating effects on a woman's physical, psychological and emotional health.

The Center for Health and Leprosy (Centre de Santé et de Leprologie) in the town of Danja, Niger, is the larger facility in which the Fistula Center will be located. Founded in 1956, CSL Danja is blessed by a staff of 63 employees who treat about 35,000 patients a year, mainly in the general dispensary.

The construction on the fistula center is progressing well and the builder estimates that the building will be ready by May 2011. A grand opening is planned for mid-year 2011. Thank you for all your prayers to make this ministry happen. We couldn’t do it without you!

New York Times article: New Life for the Pariahs

Young women in at Danja jubilee celebration


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