Fistula is Treatable

Improving Maternal Health: Fistula Is Treatable

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It is estimated that about 3,000 women in Tanzania develop fistula every year. Obstetric fistula is a condition which can develop in childbirth, whereby a woman develops a hole between her birth canal and bladder or rectum as a result of prolonged, obstructed labour. Women who suffer the physical symptoms of fistula, primarily constant uncontrolled leaking, are socially and economically discriminated against and may be isolated in their own communities because of a lack of knowledge on the causes of fistula. Community members may discriminate against women living with fistula because of negative cultural beliefs, including the belief that witchcraft and infidelity are the causes of their misfortune.

In support of government efforts to improve health services in the country and curb related maternal deaths, Vodacom Foundation Tanzania - as part of its policy to tackle maternal health problems in the country - has joined forces with CCBRT to provide treatment for obstetric fistula. By using our M-Pesa mobile money system, CCBRT can transfer funds via mobile phones to a network of ambassadors in communities who identify women with fistula, and cover the woman’s bus fare to travel to Dar es Salaam or to a CCBRT satellite hospital for treatment.

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