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Walter Stewart

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2 reviews

Review for The Fistula Foundation, San Jose, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

Role:  Volunteer

Review for The Fistula Foundation, San Jose, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Role:  Client Served