For the past 25 years, Dutch surgeon Kees Waaldijk has worked with the Nigerian Government to end fistula through his direction of the Nigeria National Fistula Program. During his career, Dr. Waaldijk has surgically repaired 25,000 fistula cases in several centres in Nigeria and one in Niger. Through a collaboration with WAHA International, approximately 1500 fistula cases are repaired every year, with Dr Waaldijk himself operating on six to eight women per day, seven days a week for three months at a time.
WAHA International is working with Dr. Waaldijk to train surgeons and doctors in fistula surgery, and to train midwives, nurses and other healthcare workers in fistula prevention and care procedures. Dr. Kees Waaldijk has been a pioneer of many innovative surgical techniques and protocols for fistula repair that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at various international conferences. Among his scientific contributions, Dr Waaldijk has demonstrated the effectiveness of using urinary catheters for the early treatment of fistula, within 75 days post-partum. He also participated in the creation of a competency based training manual for fistula surgery.
Dr. Waaldijk's publications include the following:
Waaldijk K. The immediate management of fresh obstetric fistula. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004, 191 :795-9.
Waaldijk K. Surgical classification of obstetric fistula. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1995, 49 :161-163.
Waaldijk K. Step-by-step surgery of vesicovaginal fistula. Edinburgh : Campion Press,1994.
Waaldijk K. The immediate surgical management of fresh obstetric fistula with catheter and/or early closure. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1994, 45 :11-15.