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The 15th Midwives Conference, Kisumu, Kenya

The African Midwives Research Network, the University of Nairobi and WAHA International organized the 15th Midwives Conference.

The conference took place in Kisumu, Kenya between the 27-31th July and explored the role of midwives in tackling Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

During the conference, WAHA International hosted a symposium on obstetric fistula which was attended by 280 delegates and led by Dr Khisa Weston and Dr Grace Omoni. Dr Khisa addressed all aspects of fistula from epidemiology, pre-disposing factors, prevention and management to social reintegration.

Although fistula is a major problem in the region, most participants reported that they had never seen an obstetric fistula patient, nor been involved in how to identify or help with the management of this condition. As a result, this session was very highly valued by the midwives who now have a much better overview of the subject which should help in their daily practice.

Issues arising from this presentation were centred on community engagement to reduce stigmatisation of obstetric fistula, and denouncing traditional beliefs that impeach on the rights of girls and women.