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.
The work that WorldWide Fistula Fund provides so many women around the world with care they desperately need and Dr. Wall and his team never give up. The ongoing awareness and education that the foundation provides is bringing the local providers the necessary skills to heal their communities and bring much needed services to those in need. One can trust that the organization is leading the pack with fighting the challenges of Child/Maternal Health and is a worthy cause to support.
Obstetric fistula is practically unheard of in the developed world, but it is estimated that 2 million or more women in developing countries live with the consequences. WFF is one of the organizations working tirelessly to raise awareness of fistula and to offer treatment to women who are affected, not only the necessary surgery, but also the rehabilitation and support required to return them to their homes and families.
I have followed the progress of this organization for many years and have been impressed by its steady development. They were able to build a functioning fistula hospital in the world's poorest country (Niger) which is no small feat! They have supported advocacy, research and public awareness at national and international meetings and have been a consistent presence in the fistula world for nearly 20 years. WFF is actually the oldest charity in the United States devoted to work on obstetric fistula. I have seen their work firsthand. It is a good organization which continues to grow.
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.