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  1. 1
    325479

    Living testimony: Obstetric fistula and inequities in maternal health.

    Jones DA

    New York, New York, Family Care International, 2007. [38] p.

    This publication explores knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives on pregnancy, delivery, and fistula from 31 country-level needs assessments conducted in 29 countries in the Campaign to End Fistula (see inside back cover for the complete list). Experiences of women living with obstetric fistula, their families, community members, and health care providers are brought to light. This information represents important research on the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of obstetric fistula, drawing attention to the factors underlying maternal death and disability. We hope this publication will serve as an advocacy tool to strengthen existing programmes and encourage further research on how to increase access to vital maternal health services, including fistula prevention and treatment. We implore policy makers, programmers, and researchers to listen to these women's voices and consider the promising practices and strategic recommendations described herein. What we have learned so far can help point the way, but much more still needs to be done. We cannot afford to wait-the costs to women, communities, and health systems are simply too great to delay action. Too many of the world's most disadvantaged and vulnerable women have suffered this preventable and treatable condition in silence. Too many women are dying unnecessarily in childbirth. It is time to put an end to the injustice of fistula and maternal death. (author's)
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  2. 2
    302551
    Peer Reviewed

    Publicity will highlight problem of obstetric fistula.

    Cole A

    BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2006 Jul 1; 333(7557):8.

    Hundreds of thousands of women in developing countries suffer the devastating injury during child bearing of obstetric fistula. But the agency behind a global campaign to eradicate the condition says it is simple to prevent and easy to treat. The global campaign, led by the international development agency the United Nations Population Fund, has launched a month long advertising drive in the United Kingdom to raise awareness of a condition that is believed to affect between 50 000 and 100 000 women each year. Obstetric fistula is usually caused by several days of obstructed labour without prompt medical intervention and leaves the woman with agonising, long term pain, chronic incontinence, and--in most cases--a stillborn baby. (excerpt)
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  3. 3
    189915
    Peer Reviewed

    Obstetric fistula: the international response.

    Donnay F; Weil L

    Lancet. 2003 Dec 31; 363(9402):71-72.

    The advent of modern obstetric care has led to the eradication of obstetric fistula in nearly every industrialized country. However, in the developing world obstetric fistula continues to cause untold pain and suffering in millions of women. The very existence of this condition is the result of gross societal and institutional neglect of women that is, by any standard, an issue of rights and equity. In the developing world, obstetric fistula is almost always the result of obstructed labour. During prolonged obstructed labour the soft tissues of the pelvis are compressed between the descending baby’s head and the mother’s pelvic bone. The lack of blood flow to these tissues leads to necrosis and ultimately a hole forming between the mother’s vagina and bladder (vesicovaginal) or vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), or both, that leaves her with urinary or faecal incontinence, or both. Early intervention to relieve obstructed labour will restore perfusion to these tissues and, in most cases, will prevent fistula. The results of fistula are devastating. In nearly every case the baby is stillborn. Women and girls with fistula are unable to stay dry. They smell of urine or faeces and are shunned by the community and, at times, even by their own husbands and families. They remain hidden, shamed, and forgotten. (excerpt)
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