Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has experienced multiple economic and monetary crises that have increased the level of poverty for the population of 13.5 million. The country is plagued by droughts and scarce food resources, thus depending on significant support from international and local NGOs. In 2010, it ranked last on the UN human development index and continues to struggle with low life expectancy and high maternal mortality.
After several exploratory missions, WAHA International has started regular obstetric fistula treatment services in Zimbabwe in 2014.
SEE CURRENT MISSIONS
Harare and Chinhoyi
Obstetric fistula treatments
We work in two hospitals in the capital, Harare Central Hospital and the Parirenyatwa Hospital, as well as the Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, which is located 80 miles north of Harare. At the three centers, we provide comprehensive treatment for fistula, which includes providing psychological support, physical therapy, and nutritional support to ensure the patients’ full recovery and to assist in the reintegration into their communities. We cover the cost of transportation to hospitals for the treatment as well as for follow-up visits to eliminate financial barriers of care.
Community awareness on the availability of care
Additionally, we organize community awareness activities on maternal health and on the availability of fistula treatment services through partnerships with local organizations and media outlets including radio stations. We have successfully used mobile applications to communicate with populations and to recruit potential beneficiaries. These efforts have drastically increased the number of patients treated over the past couple of years and have also reduced the social stigma associated with fistula.
Reinforced local capacity and trainings staff
To ensure that our services can meet the increasing demand for fistula treatment, we build local capacity by training staff through continuous on-the-job training including patient case-based teaching and specialized treatment techniques demonstrated by international expert surgeons and trainers.