The United Nations (UN) International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is observed every year on 23rd May. Since 2013, this day has been observed to encourage action to cure and prevent obstetric fistula, which affects many girls and women in underdeveloped nations after childbirth. The global Campaign to End Fistula was launched in 2003 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners as a joint effort to prevent fistula and restore the health of people affected by the illness. The day was declared an international holiday in 2012.
Over 70% of Ethiopian women give birth at home without medical assistance, increasing the risk of getting an obstetric fistula, a life-threatening childbirth injury caused by a prolonged obstructed birth. Women may become incontinent, alienated from their communities, and even paralyzed as a result of this. Unfortunately, 93 percent of women who have an obstetric fistula will have a stillborn baby.
What is an Obstetric fistula?
Obstetric fistula is one of the most dangerous and terrible complications of childbirth. Long, obstructed labour without access to prompt, high-quality medical treatment causes a hole between the birth canal and the bladder and/or rectum. It causes incontinence issues in women, as well as persistent medical difficulties, despair, social isolation, and poverty. Obstetric fistula is a life-threatening birth injury that has been overlooked as a public health and human rights issue. An obstetric fistula affects two million women in low-resource settings, with 100,000 more developing each year. Only 1 in 50 people who are leaking urine or faeces and are living in terrible circumstances receive care.
This condition may be avoided with proper medical care, and its presence is a violation of human rights and a reminder of enormous disparities.
The Theme for International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2022
The theme for this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is “Women’s rights are human rights! End fistula now!” As a vital step in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realizing the promise of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, we must eliminate obstetric fistula. Both strategies focus on defending women’s rights, particularly sexual and reproductive health.
To help achieve this goal, the UN Population Fund has released an updated guidebook that serves as a valuable resource and a road map for achieving universal health, gender equality, and human rights.
The International Day to Eradicate Obstetric Fistula is a day determined to build a fistula-free world for every woman.
- A future where women are free of incontinence and the isolation that comes with fistula damage.
- A world where women may be confident that their infants will be delivered safely and that obstructed labour will be a thing of the past.
- A world where all women, regardless of where they live, have access to maternal health care.
- A future in which people’s health and dignity have been restored
Women’s health and dignity restored
Obstetric fistula is a human rights concern as well as a maternal health one because everyone is entitled to a dignified life. We can not only treat the delivery damage with a comprehensive, whole-patient approach, but we can also address other injustices that these women disproportionately face, such as isolation, poverty, and illiteracy. This method allows women who have been healed to live a life of dignity, autonomy, and excellent health. Because the dignity of every human being matters, let’s all work together to eliminate obstetric fistula!