Together we can improve healthcare for expectant mums

Right now, there are over two million women worldwide who are living with fistula. Nigeria has the world’s highest rate of women living with this condition, with over 500,000 affected.

That’s more than half a million women living with this preventable and treatable condition, experiencing isolation, shame and grief every day.

So what is a fistula?

A fistula occurs when an unborn baby’s head puts too much pressure on a mother’s maternal tissues, cutting off the blood supply. The tissues die and leave a hole, or fistula, which causes urine and sometimes faeces to leak uncontrollably.

Poverty, malnutrition, lack of healthcare access and cultural practices exacerbate this situation. All these factors can lead to birthing difficulties, and a fistula can occur.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Donate now and transform maternal healthcare for women and girls in Nigeria.

Merina’s story

Merina was overcome with joy at the news she was about to become a first-time mum. Yet, what should have been a joyous occasion soon became a nightmare.

“They told me that my baby hadn’t lived, that it was a boy and that he weighed 3.7 kilos… I was so sad. I would have named him Edwin.”

Having lost her baby, Merina was given more devastating news. She was diagnosed with a fistula.

“I will never forget losing my baby. And I will never forget having fistula. It was hard. I constantly dripped urine and I smelled bad. I was so ashamed. I was very sad. All my joy had disappeared. I thought I was the only woman with this condition. But a kind doctor told me I could be treated.

“My joy and my strength have returned. Today I sing about fistula, letting other women know what it is and that they can be treated. I want to help other women, just like I was helped.”

Show your support for women like Merina today. Donate now.

Helping transform maternal healthcare in Nigeria

CBM is active in Nigeria, raising awareness of the importance of good maternal healthcare and the prevention of birth injuries such as fistula. And in remote areas, we’re also training local healthcare workers to be able to identify high risk pregnancies and refer those women to hospitals.

You can help women and girls access maternal healthcare in Nigeria. Donate now and support our three-year program focused on:

  • Training healthcare workers in the identification, management and referral of women with fistula for surgical treatment

  • Providing greater surgical outreach to facilitate access to treatments

  • Creating advocacy and community awareness about maternal and child health services, including fistula prevention and treatment

  • Promoting and supporting emergency obstetric care and fistula treatment.

Help transform maternal healthcare for women like Merina.