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International Day to End Obstetric Fistula observed on May 23, 2022

The United Nations (UN) International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) is observed annually on May 23 since 2013 to raise awareness and promote action towards treating, preventing, and ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.

  • For 2022, IDEOF is observing on the theme ‘End Fistula Now: Invest in Quality Healthcare, Empower Communities!’

About Obstetric fistula:

i.It is a hole in the birth canal and bladder caused by protracted, obstructed labour i.e. during childbirth, in the absence of timely medical care. It causes uncontrollable urinary incontinence (leak of faeces). If left untreated, it can lead to infection, disease and infertility. 

ii.Though this condition has disappeared in developed/rich countries but still persists in poorer/ developing countries with inadequate maternal health care.

  • An estimated 500,000 women and girls live with the condition.

iii.The injury can be prevented largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; sexual and reproductive health care, access to contraception; and access to skilled birth attendants and high-quality emergency obstetric care.

iv.It can be treated with reconstructive surgery.

Key Points:

i.The observance of IDEOF is a step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and realizing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). 

ii.As a part of observance, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) updated an orange manual namely ‘Obstetric fistula & other forms of female genital fistula: Guiding principles for clinical management and programme development’.

iii.UN Member states have adopted a resolution to end obstetric fistula by 2030

iv.UNFPA leads the Campaign to End Fistula, which works in more than 55 countries on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation efforts. It was initiated in 2003.

V.IDEOF was officially recognized in 2012.

About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

It is the United Nations (UN) sexual and reproductive health agency. 
Executive Director– Dr. Natalia Kanem
Headquarters– New York, United States





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