In Ethiopia only 7% of women deliver in a health facility, and as a result, 1 in 40 women die in childbirth and 9,000 new cases of obstetric fistula, a horrendous childbirth injury, occur every year. Obstetric Fistula is a double sorrow. A woman loses her baby in long, painful, obstructed labor and then wakes up to the horror of incontinence. She is often abandoned by her husband, ostracized by her family and village, and left to live the rest of her life alone and ashamed. There is a surgical cure for fistula but because of the stigma of having a fistula (“cursed in rural Ethiopia”) most fistula patients post-surgery continue to be ostracized and despised in their villages. Because their husbands have abandoned them, they have no means to support themselves. There are an estimated 100,000 untreated cases in Ethiopia alone. Over 2 million women suffer from obstetric fistula in developing countries worldwide (text provided by Healing Hands of Joy website).
In this regard, P2P works in partnership with Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to bring hope, happiness, and a second chance to women affected by obstetric fistula.
Healing Hands of Joy’s mission is to establish safe motherhood support and education networks throughout Ethiopia with the goal of eradicating obstetric fistula, while providing a range of social reintegration efforts for post-surgery fistula patients in resource poor countries where fistula prevalence is high and institutional delivery is low. HHOJ is committed to improving the lives of fistula survivors and preventing more women from suffering the same fate. Learn more at www.HealingHandsOfJoy.com