May 22, 2020

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2020 will be observed on 23 May under the theme "End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!"


  • Obstetric fistula is an injury that can occur during childbirth. It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment.

  • The condition typically leaves women incontinent, and as a result they are often shunned by their communities. Sufferers often endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.

  • An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with this injury, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year.

  • Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by:
    • delaying the age of first pregnancy;

    • the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and

    • timely access to obstetric care.