When a woman has an obstetric fistula (a large hole in the birth canal caused by an obstructed labour) she can become incontinent; constantly leaking urine and feces. They avoid doing normal things like going to church and the market because of a smell they can’t control. Worse still, they can be ostracized from their husbands and family feeling isolated and alone. Help Amref Health Africa set up more fistula surgery camps in remote areas to perform life altering fistula surgeries and help women rejoin their community.
Being born with a cleft palate in Africa can be a death sentence. Babies with this deformity are unable to breastfeed and are likely to become undernourished and weakened, and may even die. If they do survive they are often ostracized, unable to go to school, and doomed to a life of loneliness. Help Amref Health Africa send more doctors to rural hospitals to perform the simple life-changing cleft surgeries and train local doctors.
Too often, young girls are subjected to harmful cultural practices like FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and forced child marriages that can lead to adolescent pregnancy – leaving them vulnerable to lifelong disabilities like obstetric fistula. Amref Health Africa advocates for girls sexual and reproductive health education and flies in African Doctors to remote areas to perform life altering fistula surgeries so girls can get back to living and reach their full potential.