Fistula: A Problem of Women Not Getting the Right Care

An MSF physiotherapist in Gitega, Burundi, works with Sandrine, 17, to help her build up enough muscle strength to undergo fistula repair surgery. She sustained a fistula, as well as nerve damage and other complications, due to a poorly performed episiotomy at another health facility.
Martina Bacigalupo/VU
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Saturday, May 23, is the International Day to End Obstetric Fistulas. Every year, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 women and girls develop a fistula. Though not immediately life-threatening, fistulas come with devastating health and social consequences. Our health care teams provide emergency obstetric care to prevent the occurrence of fistulas, while providing repair surgery to those with the condition in some areas.

Read more about MSF's work on obstetric fistulas and other women's health issues at