Improving care for women with obstetric fistula: new WHO recommendation on duration of bladder catheterisation after the surgical repair of a simple obstetric urinary fistula.
Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage, the "survive, thrive, transform" agenda moves beyond reducing mortality and focuses on the importance of maternal morbidity.((1) ) An obstetric fistula, one of the most devastating types of maternal morbidity, is usually caused by injury during childbirth from prolonged or obstructed labour. The prolonged compression of the fetal head against the pelvic bones can cause ischaemic necrosis of parts of the bladder, urethra or vagina, resulting in an abnormal opening between a woman's genital tract and her urinary tract that leads to the continuous flow of urine through the vagina.((2)) Women with obstetric urinary fistula are often faced with serious social problems including abandonment by their partners, families and communities mainly due to persistent odour of urine as they are constantly wet and unable to control their urinary function.((3)) While these fistulae are almost non-existent in high-income countries, it remains a public health problem that affects over one million women, their families and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with poorly-resourced health systems and inadequate intrapartum care services. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.