Obstetric fistula treatment and community reintegration support

Reporting Organization:Ethiopiaid Canada
Total Budget ($CAD):$ Unspecified
Timeframe: August 1, 2015 - December 31, 2022
Status: Implementation
Contact Information: Unspecified

Partner & Funder Profiles

Reporting Organization

Ethiopiaid Canada

Participating Organizations

Funders (Total Budget Contribution)


Return to top


Country - Total Budget Allocation

Ethiopia - $ 0 (100%)

Return to top

Areas of Focus

Health - Total Budget Allocation

Primary Health Care (35 %)

Reproductive Health & Rights incl. Maternal Health (35 %)

Health Promotion & Education (15 %)

Health Systems, Training & Infrastructure (15 %)

Return to top


Program overview

With the support of Ethiopiaid, WAHA International has provided obstetric fistula and other pelvic organ prolapses services in three Ethiopian University Teaching Hospitals: Gondar (Amhara region), Assela, and Jimma (Oromia region).

WAHA partnered with these University Teaching Hospitals and with the Federal Ministry of Health to provide holistic fistula and other pelvic organ prolapses care and training services, in order to maximize access to quality care for women suffering from these disorders. The fistula care and training centers are integrated into the existing public health services, and provide patient care, as well as the training of students and local staff. They are an integral part of the gynecology-obstetric department of the hospitals and are managed jointly by WAHA and the respective university hospitals’ administration.

Developing fixed fistula treatment centers linked to university teaching hospitals ensures that fistula care services are integrated into the curriculum for medical students, and ensures patients’ access to other health care services and follow up. The operations carried out in the centers are equally valuable training opportunities during which our highly experiences fistula surgeons pass on their skills to the local health care teams. The centers provide holistic services to all types of pelvic floor disorders and as such treat women with obstetric fistula as well as women suffering from pelvic organ prolapses and other conditions. The holistic treatment provided in the three centers includes community outreach, covering transportation costs for all women to reach the hospital for treatment, surgical and non-surgical treatment, physiotherapy and psycho-social services.

The stigma associated with fistula is a long and lasting condition, which continuously affects the daily lives of women and in some cases, carries on even after a successful fistula repair. All patients receive psychological counselling to overcome the trauma associated with obstetric fistula, and basic support to restart their lives after release from hospital. The community outreach activities equally seek to create a more knowing and thus caring environment for women with an obstetric fistula.

In addition, WAHA has piloted a socio-economic reintegration program for former fistula and other pelvic disorders patients in Gondar and in north Gondar, in partnership with local organizations and tourist markets in heritage sites. A skills training and social reintegration program caters to the most disadvantaged former obstetric fistula or prolapse patients, based on the severity of their socio-economic condition and prospects of returning to their home communities from which they may have experienced hardships. This enables them to learn a trade and earn sustainable income. A similar socio-economic rehabilitation project is planned for Assela former fistula patients on the same criteria.

In addition, the creation of associations composed of women living with fistula and other pelvic organ disorders will ensure the improvement of their well-being, status and recognition in Ethiopia.

Return to top

Target Population

Gender and age: Unspecified
Total Direct Population: 2,500
Total Indirect Population: 2,500
Return to top



Return to top

Results & Indicators

Expected Results

Treatment and care (2018-2022)
•t2,500 women suffering from obstetric fistula and other pelvic floor disorders will receive surgery and care; the capacity of the three government university hospitals will increase through providing continous trainings of local fistula care teams.
•tTransport expenses of 2,500 women with obstetric fistula and other pelvic floor disorders will be covered free of charge to ensure access to treatment.
•tCommunity awareness on fistula prevention will increase to ensure case identification and referrals for treatment.

Socio-economic reintegration (2018-2022)
•tVocational training will be provided to 120 former patients for obstetric fistula and other pelvic disorders in Gondar.
•t120 former patients will earn a sustainable income and improve their economic and social status.
•tA socio-economic reintegration center will be built in Assela to train and empower another 80 former patients.
•tThe well-being, status and recognition of women living with obstetric fistula will improve through the establishment of women’s associations, expansion of self-help groups, of income generating activities, increased fistula prevention and reduced stigmatization of women living with obstetric fistula.

Achieved Results

From August 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016
•t134 women suffering from obstetric fistula received repair surgery, psycho-social support, physiotherapy and nursing care
•t128 women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse or other pelvic floor disorders received repair surgery, psycho-social support, physiotherapy and nursing care
•t50 former patients attended a 2 month vocational training and joined the Dabat crafts production centre, earning a sustainable income to become financially autonomous.
•t3,271 women were referred to health facilities for maternal health care services such as family planning, antenatal care and delivery.
•tClinical training on obstetric fistula and pelvic floor disorders was provided to approx. 120 medical students, residents, visiting doctors, nurses and other supporting hospital staff. This included a broad spectrum of services such as the reception of women; the assessment of cases; pre- and post-operative care; infection-prevention techniques; assistance in intra-operative care; counselling, discharge and follow-up procedures.


  • None Selected
Return to top
Return to top

Associated Projects (If applicable)

Return to top