Who We Are
Dr. Lewis Wall founded the not-for-profit Worldwide Fund for Mothers Injured in Childbirth in 1995. Though our name has changed since then, our dedication to holistic care has not. Our mission is to restore the health and dignity of the world’s most vulnerable women by preventing and treating devastating childbirth injuries.
Guiding our mission and strategic plan is a Leadership Team, which includes a former Trustee of the International Continence Society; clinicians in obstetrics and urogynecology; professors in global health, medical anthropology and physical therapy; experts in health delivery; and captains of industry.
We are committed to quality, holistic care and believe that by strategically partnering with local leaders and organizations in low-resource countries, we can increase capacity to address women’s health care needs. Learn about our programming
In 2018, WFF joined forces with Seattle-based fistula nonprofit One By One. Its programming in Kenya came under WFF just after we launched services in Burkina Faso. We continue to support our programs in Ethiopia, Niger and Uganda.
In 2017, we expanded our mission from a focus on treating and empowering women and girls with obstetric fistula to helping women with any childbirth injury. The decision was largely fueled by the high number of women coming to us who thought they had fistula but had pelvic organ prolapse or another injury.
WFF began by funding multiple programs and training doctors across sub-Saharan Africa to provide quality fistula repair surgeries. We supported providers including Evangel VVF Centre in Nigeria; Aberdeen Clinic and Fistula Center in Sierra Leone; Mercy Maternity and Fistula Center in Ghana; and MercyShips. We provided surgical training in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and Benin.
During these early years, we simultaneously raised capital funds to build a new, desperately needed model fistula hospital for West Africa. In 2009, 2010 and 2013, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Nicholas Kristof, wrote articles in the New York Times about WFF’s mission and goal to build this hospital.
- 2019 — TERREWODE Women’s Community Hospital officially opens in Uganda
- 2019 — Dr. Itengre triples the number of fistula repair surgeries he’s completed in Burkina Faso from 32 (2018) to 96
- 2019 — Let’s End Fistula Initiative secures NGO status in Kenya
- 2018 — WFF helps Let’s End Fistula Initiative in Kenya launch Safe Motherhood: Preventing Obstetric Fistula
- 2018 — WFF joins forces with Seattle-based fistula organization, One By One, expands to Kenya
- 2018 — Critical care training launches in Ethiopia to support complex surgeries/deliveries
- 2017 — Danja Fistula Center, Niger hosts national fistula camp and called “best fistula facility in the country”
- 2017 — TERREWODE, WFF’s longtime partner in Uganda, awarded 5-year, $675,000 grant to help triple the number of women who are treated there
- 2017 — Holistic services launch in Burkina Faso with free surgery and empowerment training
- 2016 — Opened Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Center at Mekelle University’s Ayder Referral Hospital in Ethiopia
- 2016 — Launched Ethiopia’s first Urogynecology Fellowship Program at Mekelle University with partners
- 2014 — Danja Fistula Center completed 500th fistula surgery
- 2014 — Founder awarded Fulbright Scholarship to expand WFF’s medical education collaboration and women’s health research in Ethiopia
- 2013 — Facilitated Danja Fistula Center surgeon achieving “expert fistula surgeon” status with FIGO
- 2013 — Established Rehabilitation Advisory Council for optimal fistula recovery through integrated therapy programs
- 2013 — Launched Mekelle Medical Education Collaboration (MMEC) in partnership with Mekelle University, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia
- 2013 — Opened Women’s Center in Uganda to provide fistula survivors literacy education and vocational skills with partner, TERREWODE
- 2012 — Opened Danja Fistula Center in Niger with our operational partner, SIM
- 2010 — Supported multi-national fistula research in sub-Saharan Africa and new program development in Uganda