Interview with a Fistula Advocate
December 30, 2015
Grace is a volunteer through WFF’s partner TERREWODE in Uganda. In this interview, Grace shares her experience helping women with fistula in her community:
Q. How long have you been an advocate for maternal health?
Grace: Over 14 years. Grace is TERREWODE’s longest serving Fistula Advocate.
Grace founded the Ocal Cluster Level C Association in her hometown in Uganda. She recruited 20 female advocates to join her mission encouraging local leaders to improve maternal health care at local Health Centers.
Q. Your Association saw to the renovation of the Abarilela Health Center Maternity Ward. What was it like for women giving birth before?
Grace: Our women were delivering on the floor. Grace’s Association petitioned for additional beds for recovering mothers and a waiting room for their families.
Q. What is a challenge you face when helping fistula sufferers receive treatment?
Grace: To get these women is not easy…if you don’t have transport there is no way...
Q. Why do you choose to help women with fistula?
Grace: Fistula is very rampant and it has affected many women…we cannot just accept it.
Grace’s Association is currently advocating for the erection of a Health Center in her hometown.
WFF supports training fistula survivors and community members like Grace to educate the community about fistula and advocate for women who need treatment. WFF has helped train and educate nearly 350 fistula survivors as health advocates and nearly 500 community members and medical professionals in prevention and treatment, including WFF’s collaborative OB-GYN training program and Ethiopia’s first Urogynecology Fellowship program at Mekelle University.