Webinar Recording: The Importance of Rehabilitation and Reintegration in Holistic Fistula Care

Published on May 31, 2022

It is estimated that half a million women and girls worldwide live with obstetric fistula, a maternal injury that occurs when obstructed labor leaves a hole in the birth canal, causing uncontrollable leakage of human waste. This condition, common in low- and middle-income countries, is treatable and almost always preventable.1

On May 19, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics hosted a global webinar ahead of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula on May 23. The webinar highlighted a crucial aspect of holistic fistula care: how to rehabilitate women who have experienced fistula and help them reintegrate into society after the fistula has been repaired. Over 180 participants from 25 countries attended the webinar, which convened advocates and leaders in comprehensive fistula programming from across the globe, including:

  • Alima Aba Milki, Healing Hands of Joy
  • Bridget Asiamah, United Nations Population Fund
  • Traci L. Baird, EngenderHealth
  • Moustapha Diallo, Consultant
  • Iyeme Efem, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics
  • Jessica McKinney, Mama, LLC
  • Erin Mielke, USAID
  • Brenda Msangi, Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT)
  • Oluwayemisi Obashoro-John, Institute of Social Work of Nigeria
  • Meselech Seyoum, Healing Hands of Joy
  • Renae Stafford, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics
  • Vandana Tripathi, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics

Speakers showcased evidence-based approaches from Guinea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania, among other settings, describing how physiotherapy, social reintegration, economic empowerment, community-based rehabilitation, prevention of recurrence, and the opportunity to advocate for safe motherhood care can transform the lives of fistula survivors.

You can watch the full webinar recording below.


  1. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Obstetric Fistula.” Last updated May 23, 2022. https://www.unfpa.org/obstetric-fistula

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