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Obstetric fistula | UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment. It leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. More than 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually. Yet it is almost entirely preventable. Its persistence is a sign that health systems are failing to protect the health and human rights of the most vulnerable women and girls. As part of the global Campaign to End Fistula, UNFPA provides medical supplies, training and funds for fistula prevention, treatment and social reintegration. UNFPA also strengthens reproductive health and emergency obstetric care to prevent fistula from occurring in the first place.


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