The Global Fistula Map: A Major Step Forward in Understanding the Global Landscape of Obstetric Fistula

Posted on

Direct Relief International, Fistula Foundation, and UNFPA have teamed up to develop the first-ever global map of available services for women living with obstetric fistula, creating a robust visual representation of the current global capacity to treat obstetric fistula.  The mapping of these services is a major step forward in understanding the global landscape of the condition and will hopefully help to inform and streamline the allocation of resources as well as raise awareness of the health needs of women living fistula.


From our colleagues at Direct Relief International, Fistula Foundation, and UNFPA:


“Tragically, there are unacceptably high numbers of fistula cases, yet we see from the map data gathered so far that treatment currently only reaches a fraction of patients annually-an estimated 14,000 women in 2010-not counting the significant backlog of cases,” said Gillian Slinger, the UNFPA Coordinator of the Campaign to End Fistula. “Documenting where treatment is available is critical to providing care, raising resources and restoring the health and dignity of women and girls living with fistula. If we know where service gaps are, we can then better steer activities forward, to get help to all those who need it.”


The Global Fistula Map is an evolving collaborative effort that was developed by Direct Relief and can be found at  It highlights over 150 health facilities providing fistula repair in 40 countries across Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East. While availability of surgical treatment for obstetric fistula is growing, the current capacity of most facilities is low. Over half of reporting facilities treated less than 50 patients in 2010, while only 5 facilities worldwide reported treating more than 500 women. It is anticipated that the map will improve coordination, and enhance fistula prevention and treatment efforts worldwide…”


Read the full press release here.


Explore and share the Global Fistula Map.


The Global Fistula Map is a joint project by Direct Relief International, the Fistula Foundation and UNFPA, with data also contributed by EngenderHealth, WAHA International, and the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons.


More information about obstetric fistula:


Take a look at Five Things to Know about Obstetric Fistula from Direct Relief International.


Check out Fast Facts and FAQs from the Fistula Foundation.


Browse EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Virtual Resource Center.


Explore a variety of technical resources from the Campaign to End Fistula.


Visit WAHA International’s blog to learn more about their work on fistula.


Check out the MHTF’s coverage of news relating to fistula.