AFG has partnered with New-York based Engender Health to provide treatment and improve the lives of women with fistula, and to address the causes of obstetric fistula so that other women may be spared the condition

Fistula Project

Fistula CareWhat is fistula?

Fistula is an abnormal passage, or hole, that develops between the birth canal and one or more of a woman’s internal organs. It is an injury that oftentimes occurs during childbirth, usually when a woman is in labor too long or when the delivery is obstructed in some way. It occurs in settings where there is limited access to skilled medical care or cesarean section operations. While it is almost always preventable, fistula is all too common in the developing world, where it is estimated to affect more than 2 million girls and women.

Consequences of fistula are life-altering: For women with obstetric fistula, the baby usually dies Fistula Projectduring labor, and the mother is left with chronic incontinence, often leading to isolation from family and community life and neglect or abandonment by male partners. Without surgical repair, a woman’s prospects for work or family support are greatly diminished, and she is often left to rely on charity. These problems are compounded in cases of traumatic fistula, which is caused by rape or sexual violence. In these cases, women face greater psychological trauma and increased vulnerability to HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.

In up to 90% of cases, the fistula can be surgically repaired.

Fistula in Guinea

Fistula HouseWhile fistula is almost unheard of in developing countries, it is all too common in countries like Guinea. According to Engender Health, from January 2006 to June 2010, 2,333 women needed fistula repairs. Of these, 1,412 received interventions and 1,056 were cured. These surgical intervent

ions happened in the hospitals of Kissidougou, Labe, Ignace Deen and Jean Paul II in Conakry.

AFG Gets Involved

Since 2009, we have been involved in providing over a hundred fistula repair kits to women throughout Guinea. Each kit contains all the necessary supplies and medication for a woman to undergo repair surgery. In 2011, Engender Health approached AFG and requested our help in a different way. A transition house was necessary to house women who came to Jean Paul II Hospital to receive treatment.

To that end, the organization spent 50 thousand dollars to renovate an existing guest house and build a transition facility in the premises.

AFG - Fistula House

Graciously named after our Health Program Director, the Bebe Diaraye Sylla Help Center, which opened in May 2011, can house 17 women at a time, and serves as a recovery area for patients, so they may receive post-surgical care until they are released from physician supervision. This has tripled the number of women that can be treated in any give three-month surgical session. In 2011 alone, 240 women benefited from this effort.

In 2012, we provided 12 surgical kits to doctors in three medical sites throughout Guinea. Each of these contain specialized surgical implements and will allow doctors to operate on hundreds, even thousands, of women for an entire year. We also furnished mattresses and medication carts for the transition center at Kissidougou.

  • Partial Cost of Hydrocephalus Surgery: (per child)
    Blood Tests: $500
    Surgical Kit: $600
    CT Scans (2): $600
    Average daily income of a Guinean citizen: $1.24*
    *UN and World Bank Statistics

  • AFG has shown an interest in helping us. We established a partnership with AFG in July 2010 when we met the health program director, Mrs. Bebe Sylla. We look forward to AFG continuing to help our children live a better life. — M. Fadiga, President of the Association of Mothers and Children Affected by Hydrocephalus

  • AFG needs your help! We depend on contributions from foundations, companies and individuals to continue our work in Guinea.

    Our primary goal is to assist hospitals and health centers in Guinea who care for the welfare of the Guinean population. We do this by providing medical aid, improving and upgrading existing infrastructure in health facilities and implementing disease prevention and treatment programs.

    We also aim to improve the overall quality of life of the population by supporting and promoting economic growth and technical development.

    You can make a difference!