The first Direct Relief contribution of medicines and surgical supplies for the National Center for Obstetric Fistula Referral (CNRFO) in Niamey, Niger was handed over today in a ceremony I attended called “Together to Fight Obstetric Fistula in Niger.”
We expect this will be the first contribution of many to support fistula repair services in centers throughout the country.
It was great to be able see the supplies on both sides of the world – first at headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif. and then more than 7,000 miles away in Niger, the country that ranks second to last in the world on the Human Development Index, a composite measure of health, education, and income.
Dr. Sanda Ganda, the lead surgeon at CNRFO, told me he was happy to receive these supplies and that they are of superior quality. Dr. Sanda estimates that 360 women will receive treatment for obstetric fistula at this center in 2014.
Present at the hand-over were representatives from Her Excellency the First Lady of Niger and the Guri Foundation; the Director General of Reproductive Health from the Ministry of Health; representatives from Direct Relief’s local partner Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA); and 61 women who have received treatment at the Center.
The fistula ladies joined the group for a photo and were happy in the ward when we did a round, showing off their handicraft skills they learned through the Center.