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home Publications In the News Obstetric Fistula

In the News

Obstetric Fistula

July 22, 2013

By L. Lewis Wall
Letter to The New York Times
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.

That is precisely the reason the Danja Fistula Center, built by the Worldwide Fistula Fund, has incorporated anthropological field research, prenatal care, public health outreach, case identification, and social rehabilitation and job skills programs into its comprehensive program for women with obstetric fistulas in Niger.

In impoverished countries, where governments struggle to provide even minimal public services, private-sector and nonprofit organizations may actually lead the way in developing effective programs that can be models for future development.

St. Louis
July 20, 2013

The writer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, is the founder of the Worldwide Fistula Fund.