Long-time WAHA International collaborator and world-renown fistula surgeon Dr. Thomas Raassen travelled to Gidel, Sudan in November 2014 to provide fistula repair surgery to 20 women from the South Kordofan region.
Dr. Thomas Raassen was invited by Dr. Tom Catena to carry out a fistula campaign at the Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel, Sudan. During his two-week long stay at the hospital, Dr. Raassen was able to provide obstetric fistula repair surgery to 20 women suffering from the debilitating condition.
Gidel is located in the Nuba Mountains, in the South Kordofan region on the border of South Sudan. The Mother of Mercy Hospital is the only hospital with comprehensive services in the Nuba Mountains and serves a population of 800,000. This was Dr. Raassen’s first visit to the region and he is planning on returning in 2015.
South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world at 2,054 deaths per 100,000 live births, which means that a woman has a one in seven chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes. These women also run a greater risk of suffering from devastating childbirth injuries. It is estimated that 60,000 Sudanese women suffer from obstetric fistula today.