Female Genital Fistula is a condition that mainly affects poor rural women and girls across the Africa. It affects the urinary bladder or rectum and the vagina, which leads to uncontrolled, continuous leakage of urine or faecal matter. The condition occurs mostly as a complication of obstructed labour but can also be caused by radiation, surgical trauma or accidents.
According to the World Health Organisation, 2 million women live with fistula worldwide. A report titled ‘Campaign to End Fistula’, there are an estimated 3,000 new cases of fistula each year in Kenya, with only 7.5% able to access medical care for the condition. The situation is made worse by the fact that access to skilled delivery care in the country is generally low.
At the national fistula camp at the Kenyatta National Hospital. 36% of cases were from the Mt Kenya region, 15% of cases in Western and 2% of cases in Coast, where fistula management awareness is still low.
M-PESA Foundation in partnership with Flying Doctors Society of Kenya, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Amref- Kenya and International Cancer Institute (ICI) launched a fistula programme targeting Bungoma, Kilifi, Nyeri and Murang’a counties. This partnership will benefit over 200 women in the four counties. M-PESA Foundation’s investment in the project is KES 15 million. Over 60 women received underwent fistula surgeries in Bungoma County. The program will engage men to support efforts to eradicate fistula and reduce their ostracization of women suffering from the condition.
Women suffering from fistula are able to get back to their day to day activities without pain and discrimination from society. The programme also led to the elimination of stigma among women with fistula by educating communities on fistula management.