Annalisa Baldi, MSF nurse in Burundi
BURUNDI 2014 © Matteo Bianchi Fasani
In Burundi, each year, 750 women are affected by obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistulas are injuries of the birth canal and most often result of prolonged, obstructed labour. They cause incontinence, which can lead to social stigma. MSF has implemented a system of reference and opened a specific center for the treatment of these women. The team also works to raise awareness of the condition within the country through medical staff training and a helpline.
Medical examinations are done at the local health centers, by health staff trained by MSF, in the district where these women live, in order to confirm they suffer from obstetric fistula. Afterwards, they are referred to the Urumuri health centre in Gitega, where MSF offers fistula repair surgery, physiotherapy and psychosocial support.