Celebrating International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

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FistulaMay 23 marks the first-ever International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. And this year is also the 10th anniversary of the Campaign to End Fistula, a collaborative initiative launched by UNFPA and partners to prevent fistula and restore the health and dignity of the millions of women and girls affected by this devastating but preventable condition.

In December 2012, 167 countries from around the world co-sponsored a biannual resolution at the United Nations General Assembly that called on all Member States to support the activities of UNFPA and its partners in the Campaign to End Fistula. The resolution also called for greater technical and financial support, in particular to high-burden countries, in order to accelerate progress towards achieving MDG5, on maternal health, and eliminating obstetric fistula. It also underlined the need to accelerate effort to address child marriage.

In addition, the UNFPA-backed resolution on Supporting Efforts to End Obstetric Fistula acknowledged the plight of millions of women and girls living with obstetric fistula by designating 23 May as the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. The Day was to be observed every year, beginning in 2013.

From Despair to Dignity: One woman’s stuggle with Fistula

On 23 May 2013, countries around the world will mark the first-ever fistula day with a variety of events that will raise awareness of this severely neglected health and human rights tragedy, highlight progress made over the last decade, and generate new political and financial support for the global movement to end the condition. These events will include a special observance at the United Nations in New York, with the participation of fistula survivors, in addition to advocates and practitioners who have dedicated their careers to put an end to this dreadful condition.

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