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In the News

A Profile of Dr. Rahel Nardos

October 27, 2020

WFF Board Member, Rahel Nardos, started a new position as associate professor in the division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Minnesota where she also serves as the Director of Global Women's Health in the UMN School of Medicine.

WFF Executive Director Published on Medium

August 14, 2019

Soja Orlowski shares how our Ugandan partner, Alice Emasu, has come to embody the best way to change the world.

Field Notes Features New TERREWODE Hospital

July 2, 2019

Washington Global Health Alliance’s Field Notes spotlights WFF's longtime partner TERREWODE and its new hospital in June 14 issue.

WFF’s 9-year Partner Finishes Hospital Construction

June 18, 2019

WFF’s long-time partner, TERREWODE, has completed construction on the TERREWODE Women’s Community Hospital. Women and girls with childbirth injuries such as obstetric fistula will receive holistic care under one state-of-the-art roof in Uganda.

Our Ugandan Partner Completes Construction on New Women's Hospital

June 7, 2019

The dedicated fistula hospital is the first in East Africa and third in Africa.

U of I Promotes Alum in Article about Chicago Event

April 24, 2019

The University of Illinois recognizes WFF Executive Director Soja Orlowski’s work to advance women’s health in a recent story about her trip to Africa in March and Chicago fundraiser in May.

Block Club Chicago Spotlights WFF Fundraiser in Chicago

April 10, 2019

The local news organization features WFF in an article about our 4th annual An Evening to Restore Dignity in downtown Chicago.

Executive Director Returns From Africa Trip to Advance Programs

March 26, 2019

Schaumburg, Ill. – Worldwide Fistula Fund’s Executive Director has fought to advance the cause of women and girls with childbirth injuries for nearly five years. She will share her experiences meeting fistula survivors in Africa for the first time at An Evening to Restore Dignity on May 2 in Chicago.

Field Notes Features WFF Kenya Leader and New Programming

March 13, 2019

Washington Global Health Alliance’s Field Notes highlights survivor turned advocate Sarah Omega in their March 8 issue.

Washington University Profiles WFF Vice Chair

December 5, 2018

Tracy Spitznagle always knew she wanted to be a physical therapist, but she had no idea she would become an advocate for women and girls with childbirth injuries.

When is Nonprofit Consolidation the Right Choice?

September 24, 2018

Giving Compass features WFF's merger with One By One in this article about how to successfully combine two organizations.

3rd Annual Night Out for Fistula Benefits Worldwide Fistula Fund

September 20, 2018

Seattle, WA — On October, 18, 2018 Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) will host the 3rd Annual Night Out For Fistula fundraising event at Mount Baker Community Club. The evening will feature keynote speaker Dr. Lewis Wall. Wall has dedicated his life to helping women and girls devastated by obstetric fistula, a life shattering injury developed during prolonged, obstructed labor that leaves survivors physically disabled, often ostracized and living in isolation.

A Few Things You Should Know About A Terrible Thing Called Fistula

June 18, 2018

Minerva: Obstetric fistula might be the worst thing you’ve never heard of. Meet two women who are trying to make it a thing of the past.

Demystifying Obstetric Fistula: One Woman's Story of Struggle and Success

May 22, 2018

WFF Kenya Partner Sarah Omega recounts her 12-year struggle with fistula and determination to end the injury that nearly ruined her life.

Chicago Event In May Features Good Cause

April 25, 2018

Chicago — When Dr. Itengré Ouédraogo first proposed maternal health organization Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) launch services in Burkina Faso, no one imagined the nonprofit would celebrate the success at An Evening to Restore Dignity on May 17 at Barrio Chicago.

Debate Over the Statue of a 19th-Century Gynecologist Continues: New York Times column

April 22, 2018

Founder Dr. Lewis Wall's research cited in continued discussion of whether New York City should remove the statue of a famous 19 century gynecologist.

Seattle, Chicago Area Nonprofits Combine To Stop Injuries Devastating Women

March 16, 2018

Schaumburg, Ill. — One By One (OBO) and Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) will join forces to help more women living with childbirth injuries such as fistula, a preventable condition that leaves poor women constantly leaking urine or feces.

My Patients Don’t Care I’m from a “Shithole” Country: Guest Opinion

March 8, 2018

Dr. Rahel Nardos writes of her recent experiences with racial bias as a doctor and educator in Portland. “Even when you achieve the highest academic or economic standards,” she writes, “you aren't protected from racial bias.”

New Book Takes In-Depth Look At Preventable Injury Leaving Poor Women Devastated

February 23, 2018

A new book about obstetric fistula is helping to eradicate the traumatic injury it describes. More than two million women worldwide are living with fistula, according to the United Nations Population Fund. Obstetric fistula is most prevalent in poor, developing countries where women and girls do not have access to quality healthcare.

Women’s Rights as Human Rights – A Call to End Fistula in Nigeria

February 6, 2018

WFF Founder Dr. Lewis Wall’s work to pass a bill of rights for patients with obstetric fistula is highlighted in this call for women suffering from the devastating childbirth injury to receive quality healthcare services.

Local Maternal Health Nonprofit Awarded $5,000 Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

August 2, 2017

Schaumburg, IL – Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF), a global maternal health nonprofit headquartered in Schaumburg, was awarded a $5,000 grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation. This grant provides for the vital nutritional needs of women at Danja Fistula Center in Niger while they undergo life-changing repair surgeries after suffering the devastating childbirth injury, obstetric fistula.

Rahel Nardos featured in Yale Alumni & Friends in Medicine

July 26, 2017

Rahel Nardos, M.D. ’03, director of global health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, was recently elected secretary of the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) Board of Directors. Nardos has been key in developing and growing WFF’s collaborative medical education programs in Ethiopia to increase access to quality maternal care and build capacity in the developing world.

Physician travels to Africa to treat women who have suffered childbirth injuries

July 12, 2017

University of Alabama at Birmingham features WFF’s new Board Member, Dr. Holly Richter, on her joining WFF and her upcoming trip to Danja Fistula Center.

Trump Thinks This Is Pro-Life

June 2, 2017

The New York TimesNicholas Kristof features WFF’s Board Member, Dr. Rahel Nardos, in his latest op-ed on how US cuts to International Aid are hurting maternal health programs abroad.

WFF Supporter Kim Darey, MD, Highlighted as Woman of Excellence

May 31, 2017

Dr. Kim Darey, Medical Director in Obstetrics at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, is a WFF supporter and highlighted us in her Chicago Defender spotlight as an inspiring local leader for women (see page 28).  

Worldwide Fistula Fund Works to Restore Dignity to Injured Women

April 18, 2017

Dr. Rahel Nardos promotes An Evening to Restore Dignity fundraiser on May 18th and discusses WFF's collaborative Urogynecology Fellowship Training Program which trains local OB-GYNs while healing local Ethiopian women with Make it Better.

“An Evening To Restore Dignity” Benefits Worldwide Fistula Fund

March 17, 2017

On Thursday, May 18th, 2017, from 6 – 8 pm, the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) hosts An Evening to Restore Dignity at The Cava Room of Moe’s Cantina, featuring raffle drawings, live music, food and cocktails to help end fistula and bring awareness to women needlessly suffering from treatable childbirth injuries.

A Scourge for Mothers: Pelvic Organ Prolapse

May 6, 2016

In recent years, there has been growing awareness of the devastating effect of obstetric fistulas. But many women are at risk for a severe condition that affects even more people than fistulas: pelvic organ prolapse.

Worldwide Fistula Fund Philanthropy Spotlight

December 17, 2015

In Uganda, 13-year-old Irene was in labor and alone. Her parents were deceased and her boyfriend had left her when he learned of her pregnancy. She begged a friend to take her to a rural clinic. Her labor was prolonged and the baby was stuck. They sent her to a health center and then she was finally ambulanced unconscious to Mulago Hospital. Irene nearly died in childbirth.

Worldwide Fistula Fund Names New Executive Director

August 12, 2015

WFF Headquarters in Schaumburg, IL — Soja Orlowski, former Director of Communications & Marketing, is promoted to Executive Director for Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF).

Wittek to Chair Worldwide Fistula Fund

March 26, 2015

Michael Wittek of rural Lake City has been appointed chair of the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) board.

Clackamas Doctor Focuses on Childbirth Complications

March 4, 2015

Dr. Rahel Nardos, a urogynecologist at Kaiser Permanente in Clackamas, recently returned from a humanitarian trip to train more Ethiopian doctors to prevent and treat devastating childbirth injuries.

Lake City Area’s Michael Wittek Named Board Chair for Worldwide Fistula Fund

February 26, 2015

Accessible health care advocate Michael Wittek is named Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) Board Chair to deliver health services for underserved women in sub-Saharan Africa.

St. Louis’ Dr. Spitznagle Named to Worldwide Fistula Fund Board

February 26, 2015

Local Associate Professor and Residency Coordinator at Washington University joins the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) Board to bring health services to underserved women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Portland Resident and Worldwide Fistula Fund Board Member Travels to Ethiopia to Heal Women and Train Doctors

February 17, 2015

Local doctor Rahel Nardos joined the Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) Board and traveled to Mekelle, Ethiopia with a team from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) January 30 – February 15, 2015, for an intensive schedule of surgery and teaching at Mekelle University’s Ayder Referral Hospital and the Mekelle Hamlin Fistula Center.

Wash U Doctor Offers Hope for Thousands of African Women

August 24, 2013

She hadn’t even had her first period before getting pregnant, Dr. Lewis Wall recalled. Like most girls in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, she had no choice in whom to marry or when to have children.

WFF Interviews with Giving Library

August 1, 2013

The Giving Library serves nonprofit organizations and philanthropists alike by offering a compelling medium, enhancing and highlighting the visibility of organizations across the country.

Obstetric Fistula

July 22, 2013

The comments of Maggie Bangser, a founding director of the Women’s Dignity Project (letter, July 18), in response to Nicholas D. Kristof’s July 14 column about obstetric fistula, make the valid point that the ultimate solution to these catastrophic complications of childbirth is the creation of effective medical delivery systems that meet women’s reproductive health care needs.

Where Young Women Find Healing and Hope

July 13, 2013

DANJA, Niger — THEY straggle in by foot, donkey cart or bus: humiliated women and girls with their heads downcast, feeling ashamed and cursed, trailing stink and urine.

Saving the Lives of Moms

May 12, 2012

THIS is a Mother’s Day tribute to a mighty woman and to the doctor who gave her back her life — and also a celebration of a grand new women’s hospital that you as readers helped to build.

New Life for the Pariahs

October 31, 2009

Perhaps the most wretched people on this planet are those suffering obstetric fistulas.