Chad is one of the four countries with the highest maternal death rates in the world (one out of 15 women) and one of the countries which has made the least progress on maternal health since 1990. In 2010, 5300 women have died in pregnancy or childbirth while 20,000 babies died within their first month of life*.
According to the 2011 State of the World’s Midwives report, the number of midwives in Chad has increased moderately since 1998, but more than half of the graduates are based in the capital city, and new incentives are needed to attract and deploy midwives in rural areas. Added to this, lack of emergency obstetric care services, and instability and violence over the past decades has made access to health care extremely difficult for women. This context is conducive to a high incidence of women with obstetric fistula.
* Sources: Levels & Trends in Child Mortality Report 2011 (UN Interagency group for Child Mortality Estimation) and Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 - 2008 (UNICEF,WHO, UNFPA and World Bank)
WAHA INTERNATIONAL IN CHAD
As part of its strategy to fight fistula, the government of Chad opened a new Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair in N’djamena on May 3, 2011. Unfortunately the infrastructure available at the center was insufficient limiting the scope of fistula services.
In 2011, WAHA International signed an agreement with local authorities in Chad to provide training on fistula care and help increase women’s access to fistula care services in this new centre. This program was developed in close collaboration with our partner, Prof Serigne Gueye, urologist and expert fistula surgeon.
Two main training sessions have been organized for physicians with prior basic skills in fistula repair: one in the Liberty Hospital and another in the Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair.
In collaboration with local community-based organizations and NGOs, we disseminated information about obstetric fistula and treatment services available in order to reach out to women in need of fistula surgery. The results of the community outreach lead to many women coming for fistula care at the Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair. Tents set up in the center’s garden in order to increase the ward’s capacity. 275 women have benefitted from fistula surgery so far.
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