Thanks to WFF, women worldwide are able to live a restored life, in a community that integrates all of their needs including: surgery, physical and occupational therapy, social work and counseling, clean living spaces, adequate nutrition, and a caring community. I have seen the women transform from being very scared, nervous, and reluctant on their first day at the clinic to being fully ALIVE and restored as they are integrated in the community at the fistula clinics supported by WFF.
In September, 2012, I joined the team at the Danja Fistula Center as a physician learning fistula repairs. I have dedicated my career to the care, education and empowerment of girls and women. The Worldwide Fistula Fund which operates the Center is visionary, and everyone I worked with was passionate about raising the level of consciousness and care around fistulas. The Center cares for the girls and women in a holistic manner which is truly unique. As impressive as the care delivered is, the team is also dedicated to the prevention of obstetric fistulas. This is the true difference between this and other fistula Centers. The Worldwide Fistula Fund shines a light on the value of girls and women. I will return to Danja.
The Worldwide Fistula Fund operates the Danja Fistula Center, one of only a handful of dedicated fistula hospitals in the world. During the two weeks I visited the hospital in September with a team of medical and administrative staff and volunteers, 24 women had surgery to repair an obstetric fistula. Many of them had been ostracized by their families because of their condition and others had had multiple failed surgeries in sub-standard clinics. Here they received excellent care by a skilled medical team. It was a privilege to be with these lovely and brave women, and I took great comfort in knowing that the Worldwide Fistula Fund was changing their lives. This is an organization that is making a tremendous difference.
The Worldwide Fistula Fund steps up to provide invaluable help to arguably the most disenfranchised women in the world. Against the odds, it has built an incredible hospital on the border of Niger and Nigeria that provides free service for any girl or woman afflicted by obstetric fistula - a horrible condition that ruins lives and tears families asunder. The WFF has collected a team of the most respected clinical practitioners in the world to battle this condition and also works to raise awareness of safe birthing practices within affected communities to prevent the injury from ever occurring. There is perhaps no other charitable contribution one could make that has such an immediate and important effect as saving a woman from a lifetime of misery. The average price of this surgery is just a few hundred dollars...yet millions of women continue to needlessly suffer. The time to end this is now. It is an incredibly worthwhile cause and a wonderful organization.
I've been the volunteer anaesthesia provider at Danja Fistula Center for two months now. Working with WFF has done for my career exactly what it needed - a reinvigoration with enthusiasm through partaking in meaningful work. The long-term team are obviously dedicated and driven to deliver a holistic soution to obstetric fistulae. This is not just 'another third world facility', but a hospital that offers a high-standard service whilst being culturally sensitive. I have been very well supported by the US office.
I visited the facility in Danja to conduct a Needs Assessment for the non-profit medical supplies agency Project C.U.R.E. The needs were great and we (C.U.R.E.) expect to help with supplies. The people working there are competent and are dedicated. And the development of local staff is impressive. Most impressive however, is the impact on the lives of the women who are served by WFF. But there is more that must be done in staffing and other areas to get full benefit from the facility.
I helped out at the WFF for the last two summers, and it has been the most rewarding work I have done. The staff is so hardworking and dedicated to helping the women in Danja, and it was truly inspiring to work with them. I was also fortunate enough to visit the clinic in Niger. I met patients and saw the medical team in action. I saw how the WFF provides free, effective, and holistic care to women afflicted with fistula--and how the women were truly enabled to change their lives. I also saw how supportive the Danja community is of the WFF's efforts, and how the WFF puts back so much into the community by hiring local workers and using local resources. I believe the WFF is a top quality nonprofit that provides aid work ethically and efficiently, and I would be honored to continue helping their efforts.
I learned of this organization from an editorial written by N. Kristof in the New York Times. I was amazed to learn about the traumatic births many women endure, and the injury these women sustain. All of the people involved in fistula repair deserve recognition and honor. The Worldwide Fistula Fund works tirelessly to end obstetric fistulas for all. Big kudos!
I've done some copywriting work and some volunteer work for the Worldwide Fistula Fund, and I will continue to offer my services. It's a great organization working to prevent and treat obstetric fistula all over the world, but especially in Danja, Niger, a place where most women deliver their babies in their homes with little or no medical support. Some of those women suffer obstetric fistulas, which cause them to leak urine and/or feces from their vagina. This is a horrible, debilitating condition that sometimes results in these women being shunned by their communities, left alone. The Danja Fistula Center repairs these fistulas, for free, for all of its patients, some of whom walk or travel hundreds of miles to get there. The services provided by WFF in Danja change the lives of these women in profound and lasting ways. I'm proud to be a supporter and a fan of this organization's vital work.