Obstetric Fistula is a gynaecological condition affecting women undergoing prolonged, complicated child birth with poor access to medical services. An obstetric fistula is typically a tear in the wall between the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina. This results in foul smelling fluid discharge, infection and pain. The prolonged labour also results in stillborn babies in over 85% of cases. Social stigma suffered by women within their local community from the foul smell and other symptoms compounds suffering and reduces dignity.
Fistula projects at Panzi Hospital focus on repairing fistulas and training specialist medical staff. Doctors are trained in fistula repair and nurses in pre-operation, operation and post-operation. In addition midwives are trained in working and following parthogram to prevent fistulas at labour.