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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Fistula Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, International, International Development, Specifically Named Diseases

Mission: Fistula Foundation works to heal women suffering from obstetric fistula by funding treatment, surgeon training, and medical equipment. To date, we have funded fistula treatment in 31 countries.

Results: Fistula Foundation is the largest private charitable foundation not accepting government funding supporting fistula treatment globally. Wherever possible, we work to empower dedicated local doctors in developing countries. We fund fistula surgery, surgeon training, the building of hospitals and operating rooms that are dedicated to fistula surgery, as well as “mobile” care clinics in rural regions of the world where no hospitals exist. Would you like to know more? The real heroes are the partner organizations, the surgeons and the patients. All around the world, miracles are happening for young women living places like Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. We invite you to take a moment now to visit our website and to learn how our donors' dollars are being put to work. Learn about the challenges of healing women in war zones and meet dedicated local surgeons who work every day to treat women who are suffering. Why wait? Take the journey with us right now. Let it inform you, and perhaps deepen your own life and perspective.

Target demographics: the one million women worldwide who currently suffer from the childbirth injury obstetric fistula, which renders a woman incontinent until she can receive a reparative surgery, like those our donors help us fund.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5,680 women received free, safe fistula repair surgeries. We also helped our partners throughout Africa and Asia by funding medical equipment and supplies, by funding surgeon training to expand the pool of surgeons who are able to perform more complex repairs, and by working with our partners to increase patient access to care.

Geographic areas served: countries throughout Africa and Asia, having funded fistula treatment in 31 countries since adopting a global mission in 2009.

Programs: obstetric fistula repair surgeries, patient identification, education and transportation, the training of obstetric fistula surgeons, and providing supplies and equipment to partners when needed to ensure that surgeries are conducted in as safe an environment as possible.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

Fistula Foundation has a done a great work in kitovu hospital. It has helped women suffering from fistula be treated and regain their dignity. The foundation has helped the hospital get access to clean by financing the project of drilling a shallow well, Women suffering from fistula are ever leaking urine and stool, they need constant supply of water to wash and drink which Fistula Foundation has resolved.



Rating: 5

Anfac was a 16 year old Somali girl in a refugee camp on the Kenyan border with Somalia. She was raped by 2 soldiers, 2 soldiers who then killed her brother who was trying to rescue her. Anfac ended up as a broken soul with an obstetric fistula. Through funding from The Fistula Foundation to the National Borama Fistula Hospital in Somaliland, Anfac was found, diagnosed, transported with her mother the 700 miles to the hospital, repaired. Kate and I met her there. Anfac was kept on at the hospital which underwrote her going to school, where she quickly learned English, computer skills, on a course to become a nurse while working at the hospital. This hospital provides free fistula repair and recovery facilities to over 450 patients per year. The Fistula Foundation has provided equipment, a bus to pick up patients, funding for over 50% of the operating costs of the hospital (the remainder of which is largely funded by the doctors themselves), and a wonderful, talented obstetric fistula surgeon from New York University (who operates, teaches residents, nurses and medical students) and comes twice a year. The Fistula Foundation has been doing this consistently for over 5 years. Fistula cases within 50 miles of the hospital have been reduced markedly and are dealt with on a current basis. The hospital is now reaching out to provide obstetric fistula education to the people throughout the Somali-speaking areas of the Horn of Africa and to extend their care throughout the region.

Why and How: Dedicated doctors, Kate Grant and her wonderful team at The Fistula Foundation

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somaliland in the 1960's and went back some years ago on my retirement. I have been working with a group of Somali doctors who set up a fistula hospital there. It is free, and set up solely to help repair the destroyed birth canals of the thousands of women in the Somali region who suffer from fistulas because of no pre-natal care, inadequate trained birth assistants, and no post-natal care. These women are ostracized from society. I helped the National Borama (Somaliland) Fistula Hospital (NBFH) apply to The Fistula Foundation for assistance. The Fistula Foundation welcomed our request, understood the fistula problems in this region of Africa, helped us with a grant application, were very clear and specific with their suggestions and timely with their responses. As a consequence The Fistula Foundation helped NBFH pay for operating equipment, doctors, patient care and operating expenses. This increased the number of patients who could be treated. There were about 400 patients treated in 2011 and, with the continuing support of The Fistula Foundation, the plan is to increase patients treated to about 500 in 2012. Needless to say - we think The Fistula Foundation is wonderful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I start contributing in 2006 after hearing about the problem on television. It amazed me that so many girls faced this terrible fate and I wanted to do what I could to help.

The Fistula Foundation has been a great help to them and I am proud to have helped a little.


Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted The Fistula Foundation in 2010 to enquire about working together in Bangladesh with my organization- Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh - to help women suffering from fistula. My experience when contacting the organization has been nothing short of extraordinary. The staff, especially the director, was welcoming, responsive and after explaining our experience and capability in Bangladesh, the Fistula Foundation welcomed our application to award a grant. In 12 years of existance this is the first time we received a grant wish such efficiency, as a result we were able to start working on the project without wasting any time. I am very impressed at the way The Fistula Foundation interacted with our organization. Having dealt with several donor organizations in the past, it is my experience that Fistula Foundation deals with grantees most respectfully, expeditiously and effectively. Also, the Foundation has been very quick and courteous about providing suggestions and guidance when needed. They also funded and sent a renowned Fistula surgeon to our hospital in Bangladesh from WAHA International, France to operate on 15 cases in just few months after the grant was awarded to our organization. I believe this partnership with The Fistula Foundation opened a new opportunity for us to serve many unfortunate women who are suffering from this dreaded condition and help them to see a new meaning of life, that is without shame and embarrasment, free of endliess pain and suffering, help these women to be finally happy. There is a tremendous need in Bangladesh and we aim to continue with a long partnership with The Fistula Foundation.