International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

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2024 Date23 May 2024
2025 Date23 May 2025

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

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International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is an annual observance that seeks to raise awareness and foster a collective commitment towards ending the prevalence of obstetric fistula. An obsteric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury primarily affecting women in developing countries. Addressing this issue is crucial not only from a health perspective but also in terms of promoting gender equality, as it disproportionately affects women due to limited access to reproductive healthcare services and education.

The United Nations established the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula in 2012, recognizing the urgent need to tackle this issue. Supporting endeavors addressing the issue of obstetric fistula reaffirms Australia's commitment to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, which include goals on ending preventable maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services.

In Australia, the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is marked by various events and activities aimed at raising awareness and funds to support global efforts in eradicating this debilitating condition. Australians are encouraged to participate in events or donate to reputable international organizations working towards the cause, such as the United Nations Population Fund. The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is observed annually on May 23rd, providing an opportunity for Australians to join the global community in working towards a future free from obstetric fistula.

Facts about International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that there are around two million women living with untreated obstetric fistula worldwide.
  • According to the WHO, about 50,000 to 100,000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula each year.
  • Indigenous Australian women are at a higher risk of obstetric complications, including fistula, due to factors such as inadequate access to quality healthcare, cultural barriers, and underlying health issues.
  • Australian doctor Catherine Hamlin and her husband, Dr. Reginald Hamlin, founded Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in 1974. The network of hospitals and rehabilitation facilities have treated over 60,000 Ethiopian women with Obstetric Fistula and is considered a global leader in fistula care.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Read several stories about women who have dealt with obstetric fistula.
  • Learn more about the campaign to end Fistula and how you can help.
  • Consider joining an educational campaign for obsteric fistula awareness. Campaigns usually involve distributing information about obstetric fistula, its prevention and treatment, and encouraging public discussions on social media platforms.
  • Learn more about obsteric fistula and women's health by reading a book. Some suggestions include:
    1. Global Health: An Introduction to Current and Future Trends by Kevin McCracken and David R Phillips - Offers a wider perspective on global health issues, including obstetric fistula, covering various cultural, economic and environmental factors. This book helps to contextualize Obstetric Fistula as a global issue.
    2. Obstetric Fistula: Guiding Principles for Clinical Management and Programme Development by World Health Organization - Contains information on the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistulas. It is a comprehensive guide covering strategies, policies, and interventions.

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