Untreated fistulas can lead to damaging chronic medical problems and social marginalization. Stigmatised, these women are often denied access to education and employment and left to live lives of isolation and poverty. The United Nations Population Fund estimates 3,000 new cases of obstetric fistulas occur annually in Kenya alone.
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd is supporting the Fistula Foundation through further grant funding in the second phase of Action on Fistula. The goal is to treat 4,500 women with obstetric fistula in Kenya by 2020. The program has already treated more than double the number of women it initially set out to help since its launch in May 2014.
Additionally, it has significantly increased surgical capacity in Kenya, enabling surgeons to perform fistula surgeries on a routine basis and built a major outreach programme to identify and bring women in for treatment. The initiative has also built capacity to perform more surgeries in the future and established an accredited fistula treatment center.
The second phase, which was an outcome of the first phase, will extend the established treatment network, train additional surgeons and nurses and establish 20 support groups to help recovering fistula patients to return to their communities.
"Our partnership with Astellas has enabled us to transform the treatment landscape in Kenya…"
CEO, Fistula Foundation