Eritrea had an estimated population of 3 million in 2007, with 80% of the population living in rural areas. Life expectancy at birth is 61 years on average.
In Eritrea there are large disparities in accessing skilled care during birth between rural and urban areas. Approximately 67 percent of births occur in rural areas where only one in ten deliveries will have the assistance of a skilled birth attendant. In 2010 in Eritrea, one out of 86 women will die during childbirth, but this is likely to be higher in the rural sector.
In the face of these challenges, Eritrea has developed a National Strategy to integrate fistula advocacy, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation into its reproductive health programmes. Eritrea is also developing a database on fistula for research, tracking, and program planning purposes.
In June 2010, WAHA International carried out periodic support in the form of fistula repairsurgery at the Menderfa Hospital, around 50 km South of Asmara. Three surgeons from WAHA International were present during the fistula repair sessions. Altogether, fourteen women were operated. Thanks to the success of the intervention the Ministry of Health of Eritrea and WAHA International will continue its co-operation by conducting fistula treatment interventions in the country on a regular basis.