News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

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Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
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Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Essential Fistula Surgery Equipment Arrives in Malawi


Direct Relief recently delivered a second shipment of medical supplies to the Bwaila Fistula Center in Lilongwe, Malawi, a facility committed to treating women with obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal that is caused by prolonged and obstructed labor. If untreated, a woman with obstetric fistula will experience constant and uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or feces. In addition to physical injuries, many women with fistula suffer humiliation, isolation, and stigma as a result of the smell and constant leakage.

The newly-renovated Bwaila Fistula Center is on target to provide life-restoring obstetric fistula repair surgery for 330 women this year. This unit is able to handle all types of cases, including difficult procedures, to assist women who have very complex injuries.

“These are women who have undergone one or more surgeries and their injuries are so severe that the only option is a larger surgery called a urinary diversion,” wrote lead surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Wilkinson in a thank you message to Direct Relief. “We are busy using all the great stuff you sent.”

The Bwaila Fistula Center is one of four Centers of Excellence for Obstetric Fistula Surgery established by the Freedom from Fistula Foundation (FfFF). It is located at the Bwaila Maternity Hospital, a large facility that oversees more than 15,000 deliveries per year.


Direct Relief sent its first shipment of supplies to the Bwaila Fistula Center in May. “We are thrilled to receive our first shipment of supplies from Direct Relief,” said Dr. Wilkinson upon receiving the sutures, catheters, urine bags, syringes, spinal needles, and other equipment included in the shipment.

An associate professor with the University of North Carolina Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Wilkinson joined the team in September 2011 and has played a major role in the renovation and opening of the expanded unit.

Direct Relief plans to continue this partnership with the Bwaila Fistula Center to remain a part of the work they are doing in the lives of hundreds of Malawian women.

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