Holistic Care Model
December 13, 2021
WFF addresses childbirth injuries with a HOLISTIC model and FOUR pillars of action. Intensive Community Outreach, Surgical Care by expert fistula surgeons, Social & Economic Reintegration and Prevention Education.
The women we serve may not know their fistula, Pelvic organ prolapse or other childbirth injury can be treated and cured. In sub-Saharan Africa, many women live in remote villages across wide geographical regions. Our local partners identify women in need by conducting intensive community outreach.
Most fistula injuries can be cured through surgery by a skilled surgeon. WFF only connects women needing treatment to expert surgeons. We know that no one leaves medical school or residency ready to perform fistula surgeries. Our own Dr. Itengre became a FIGO certified expert fistula surgeon after a year of training. Up to 50% of women arriving at Danja Fistula Center annually have had failed surgeries elsewhere by poorly trained surgeons. We know over 90% of fistulas are curable by an EXPERT fistula surgeon on the FIRST surgery.
After treatment, fistula survivors, who HAD been shunned and isolated, need help REINTEGRATING back into their communities. We educate women in their rights as women, credit and savings activities, how to form solidarity groups, protecting their health and childbirth injury prevention.
Solidarity groups back in their communities provide mutual psychological support and opportunities to join together for economic empowerment. Women launch small business ventures or Income Generating Activities (IGAs) both individually and as a group.
With an estimated 2 million women worldwide suffering from fistulas and 100,000-200,000 new injuries annually, surgery alone cannot remedy this issue. WFF supports prevention activities conducted by our partners. Teaching safe motherhood is key to preventing unnecessary suffering. Prevention messaging is combined with treatment awareness messaging in all our outreach.
We know once cured, fistula survivors are eager to give back and prevent other women from going through what they did. Part of the reintegration education we provide is empowering women with prevention education to spread the word. At-risk Pregnant women are routinely referred for antenatal care and hospital delivery to prevent injury.