International Day To End Obstetric Fistula

A common injury that can occur during childbirth is an obstetric fistula. This condition is a hole that develops between the birth canal, the bladder, and/or the rectum. It is caused by obstructed labor that occurs without access to quality and timely medical treatment. This condition can lead to tragic medical problems such as incontinence, depression, and social isolation.

That’s why the United Nations created International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. This day is observed every May 23rd and is observed with the goal of ending this condition globally by 2030. Anyone who believes women’s rights are human rights is going to want to observe this holiday.

The History Of The International Day To End Obstetric Fistula

The United Nations Population Fund created this holiday with its partners in 2003. The goal of this day is to prevent obstetric fistula and restore the health of women who are affected by it. It was also created with the set goal to end all obstetric fistulas by 2030. It was first observed in 2013 internationally and it’s been observed ever since.

Tragic Facts About Fistulas

Below are some tragic facts about fistulas that people should be aware of and should think about when this holiday rolls around every year.

  • Approximately 50% of all obstetric fistula patients are between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age.
  • Fistulas often leave women having to deal with leaking urine and/or feces.
  • Women with fistulas are often ostracized by their communities.
  • The pain and smell of the fistula often leave a woman unable to work and this drives her deeper into poverty.
  • Fistulas can be prevented with early, high-quality medical intervention.

Observing International Day To End Obstetric Fistula

On this day, organizations dedicated to women’s rights mobilize campaigns to spread the message about the problem of obstetric fistulas. People wishing to get involved can donate money to Fistula Foundations that deal with the issue and spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #EndFistulaNow on their social media accounts.

When is it?
This year (2023)
May 23 Tuesday
Next year (2024)
May 23 Thursday
Last year (2022)
May 23 Monday
Health & Body, United Nations