Reduction of Incidence and Burden of Obstetric Fistula among the Pokot Women of Amudat District in Karamoja, Uganda

Author(s): Freda Imma Amuron
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Sexual/Reproductive Health
Number of pages:


Obstetric fistula, or an opening between the vaginal canal and the urethra or anus, can occur in cases of prolonged, obstructed birth. Untreated obstetric fistula leads to the Pokot women in Uganda who are already marginalized due to gender-biased beliefs and practices, being cast out of society due to the uncontrolled leakage of urine or feces. Obstetric fistula can be avoided or treated with modern obstetric care. However, traditional birth attendants in the Pokot community lack the training needed to avoid obstetric fistula. This project uses a participatory approach to involve stakeholders at all levels in the Pokot community to attack the medical causes and social and economic impacts of obstetric fistula. Both women and men will be trained and educated on the prevention, causes of and sources of treatment for obstetric fistula. The survivors will participate in identifying other women with fistula using the snowball methodology. Peer-to-peer sessions will allow past fistula patients to share their experiences and support other survivors in the community. The health staff, especially professionally trained nurses and midwives, will train traditional birth attendants and support fistula patients. The goals are to reintegrate past fistula patients into their communities and decrease the occurrence of obstetric fistula in Pokot communities.