International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Quick Facts - NZ

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2024 Date23 May 2024
2025 Date23 May 2025

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula in
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The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is an occasion designed to raise awareness and mobilize action to eliminate a devastating childbirth injury that predominantly affects women in developing countries. Each year, this global observance day invites various international organizations, healthcare professionals, and local communities to come together, advocate for quality maternal healthcare services, and promote solutions that help prevent and treat obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula is a historical issue which came into global focus in 2003 when the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners launched a global campaign to address this health condition. By contributing both financially and through partnerships with international organizations, New Zealanders have played a crucial role in making obstetric fistula a part of the global health agenda.

On the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, this close relationship between New Zealand and global health partners is highlighted and celebrated. Communities, non-profit organizations, and individuals across the country attend events, share resources, and join discussions to amplify the message that obstetric fistula can and should be eliminated. The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is observed on May 23 and reaffirms New Zealand's commitment to end obstetric fistula and support the cause for better maternal healthcare worldwide.

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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.
  • The University of Auckland has established the Auckland Fistula Research Centre. The centre contributes to the global effort of eliminating fistula by supporting the training of healthcare professionals in low-resource settings, where obstetric fistula is more prevalent.
  • The New Zealand government has a comprehensive healthcare plan that focuses on eliminating preventable maternal mortality, utlimately helping prevent obstetric fistula.

Top things to do in NZ 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.
  • Check out your local organizations that focus on maternal health and women's rights. Join the fight against obsteric fistula by participating in social media campaigns, fundraising events, or educational programs.
  • Read a book about women's reproductive health and obsteric fistula. Some suggestions include:
    1. Listen to the Cry of the Child: The Transformative Experience of a Forgotten African Practice by Joe Mancuso
    2. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

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