Help us extend essential care across Tanzania

by Kupona Foundation
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Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Help us extend essential care across Tanzania
Abbey meets with women recovering from fistula
Abbey meets with women recovering from fistula

Bringing a silent tragedy into the spotlight

The first time I met a woman who was recovering from obstetric fistula surgery, I was faced with a reality I had been sheltered from for far too long. Four years later, while the level of awareness around this condition in the developed world has grown, there is still a lot of work to be done before this critical global health challenge is given a permanent place in the spotlight. 

Imagine…

Imagine if, while giving birth, you or your partner faced a complication requiring emergency medical care. Imagine if that care was unavailable, and you lost your baby. You grieve for the loss of the child who was so close to living. You, or your partner, suffer silently, trying to find a way to cope with the physical trauma that leaves you incontinent, unable to work and further devastated by judgment and abuse at the hands of your friends and family.

“I lived like this for 10 years, with my mother. My neighbors told me I smelled, and forced me to stay inside. When my mother passed away, I had no one left to talk to, and nobody to look after me. I went to my father’s sister for help, but she told me I was cursed. She chased me away from her house and refused to let me live there. I was fired from two jobs, both times because of the smell.” – Hadidjia, fistula survivor

A Silent Tragedy

At Kupona Foundation we often refer to obstetric fistula as a silent tragedy, affecting members of our global community who struggle to make their voices heard even before they are faced with unimaginable trauma. It is made even more difficult to endure by the myths and misconceptions that are held up as fact in their communities. The women living with this condition are hidden from view. As a result, those with the power to change things are oblivious to their struggle.

Today, International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, Kupona Foundation, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, UNFPA’s Campaign to End Obstetric Fistula, Fistula Foundation, New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life and the College of Global Public Health, launch the Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula exhibition at the NYU Kimmel Center in New York City. The collection of work by artist Jac Saorsa is designed to shine a light on the experiences of women living with and recovering from obstetric fistula, to raise awareness about the condition, and to mobilize support for the programs and partnerships that work to restore women’s dignity. The women featured all received treatment from CCBRT, Kupona Foundation’s sister organization, at its Disability Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Since 2009, Kupona Foundation supporters have contributed over $1.3 million to the treatment and prevention of fistula.Together, we have rebuilt the lives of 3,987 women, and with our support CCBRT has grown to become one of the largest providers of comprehensive fistula treatment in the world. Our hope is that these drawings will open your eyes not only to the reality facing the women living with obstetric fistula, but also to the opportunity facing every one of us to change the status quo.

We imagine a world free from fistula, can you?

Fistula can be treated, prevented and ultimately eradicated. All it takes is a community of individuals and institutions coming together and taking action. By attending this exhibition you will become a vital part of this community. 

Thank you for your support,

Abbey

The Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula exhibition is free to the public from May 23rd-July 4th, Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sunday 1pm-8pm (closed Saturday) at the NYU Kimmel Center, Washington Square S, New York, NY. All visitors must present photo ID at reception. Learn more about the exhibition: www.resilience.gallery

On May 23rd at 11am ET, Kupona Foundation will host a Twitter chat with support from Johnson & Johnson to mark the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. Please join this important global conversation by following the hashtag #FistulaDay. 

by Jac Saorsa
by Jac Saorsa
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Photo credit: Dieter Telemans
Photo credit: Dieter Telemans

Dear Friends,

In 15 days, Kupona's sister organization, CCBRT, will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the opening of their Disability Hospital. 

Since 2001, the hospital has conducted hundreds of thousands of life changing surgeries, equipped medical teams to provide high quality care, and dedicated countless hours to build capacity in partner healthcare facilities. Today, CCBRT is Tanzania’s largest provider of disability and rehabilitative services, and thanks to your support, CCBRT is now changing the lives of over 1 million people every year.

The next chapter promises to be even more exciting. Together, we are moving closer to a Tanzania where access to quality healthcare is universal. Together, we are unlocking new opportunities for people like Angelica.

Help us raise $150,000 by March 26th.

Over the next 15 days, Kupona will support CCBRT’s efforts to raise $150,000 in celebration of the last 15 years of life changing service. We need your help! 

As a Kupona supporter you have an incredible opportunity to amplify your impact. Give through our GlobalGiving Microproject on March 16th, and our friends at GlobalGiving will match your donation with Bonus Funds. Help us continue serving people like Angelica  for the next 15 years:

  • $25 provides 5 physical therapy sessions for one patient. 
  • $50 provides food for 20 patients at our Disability Hospital for one day
  • $150 provides corrective treatment for a child with clubfoot, enabling them to walk to school.
  • $710 provides corrective surgery and comprehensive rehabilitation for a woman living with obstetric fistula.

Thank you for your support along this journey.

Warm regards,

Abbey Kocan

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Photo credit: Benjamin Eagle
Photo credit: Benjamin Eagle

Dear Friends, 

At Kupona Foundation, we believe that disability prevention is just as important as the ‘cure’ available through corrective surgery and rehabilitation. That is why our maternal and newborn healthcare and disability programs work hand-in-hand to improve the quality of comprehensive care available to Tanzanian families. In this ‘cross over’ report, we share how our maternal and newborn healthcare teams are improving outcomes for people with disabilities in Dar es Salaam.

In February 2012, Dr. Yoni Barnhard, a Kupona Board member and American OBGYN, visited Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He found himself in an overcrowded, under-staffed, under-equipped labor and delivery ward, and later shared his experiences in a series of GlobalGiving reports.

“Amana. Second largest district hospital in Dar es Salaam. 29,000 deliveries each year. Do the math. Teeming with births. Just 6 birthing beds. Not actually birthing beds. Metal tables with a hole at one end. Fresh blood dripping through. A bucket underneath. No full-time OBGYN. No full-time anesthesiologist. No air conditioning. 92 degrees outside.  Hotter inside. This is where we start.”

Four years later, we’ve come a long way. Improvements1 across the board at Amana Hospital mean that staff have the skills, confidence and time to provide high quality care.

But what does maternal health have to do with disabilities?

Quality maternal healthcare is one of the cornerstones of disability prevention. Trained healthcare workers providing high quality maternal healthcare in clean, well-resourced facilities are better equipped to recognize and mitigate the risk of a woman developing a disability like obstetric fistula during childbirth. Teams also have the time and training to identify congenital impairments such as cleft lip or clubfoot in newborns, and refer them for treatment as soon as possible after birth.

A healthy child born to a healthy mother is less likely to be caught in the cycle of poverty, and more likely to pursue education and employment later in life.  

Relieving the Pressure

Dar es Salaam’s healthcare system was designed to support a city of 750,000 people; hospitals and clinics now serve a population of over 4.4 million. Severe overcrowding hampers healthcare workers’ ability to give every patient the attention and quality of care they deserve. When Dr. Barnhard first visited Amana, the hospital conducted 2,000 deliveries a month. He counted three nurses helping 41 women in labor.

Capacity building and training at smaller pre-referral healthcare facilities across the region means that families now place their trust in more facilities, decongesting wards at district and regional hospitals and relieving the pressure on healthcare teams. Today, Amana Hospital conducts 1,000 deliveries a month, giving staff more time to focus on each patient.

Lasting Change You Empowered

Thanks to the tireless efforts of CCBRT’s Maternal and Newborn Healthcare team, in close partnership with the Government of Tanzania, Amana is unrecognizable. Kupona’s dedicated donors joined a committed network of supporters and partners including Vodafone Foundation, Global Affairs Canada (GAC – formerly DFATD), and CBM Australia. Today, expectant mothers are entering a very different hospital with the confidence that their attending delivery teams will be able to identify and treat complications before a serious injury or disability develops.

The team at CCBRT’s Disability Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a referral center for people with disabilities in the region, has also observed positive trends. A marked decline in the number of women presenting with obstetric fistula after delivering at a Dar es Salaam healthcare facility, and an increase in the number of children with impairments such as clubfoot and cleft lip being referred for treatment as newborns reinforces the link to improved maternal and newborn healthcare. More importantly, it means fewer women and children are suffering needlessly for months or years with preventable or correctable impairments.  

There is still room for improvement, particularly in early labor wards which are still crowded. However, CCBRT is ready to meet remaining challenges, spurred on by the success you’ve supported. Four years later, the future for Tanzanian families looks much brighter.

 

  1. Following a recent assessment, Amana achieved 78% of quality standards for Basic Emergency Obstetric Care, measured by Standards-Based Management and Recognition (SBMR) assessments, developed by Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University compared to Amana’s baseline score of 9% in 2010.
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Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson

Dear Friends,

In December, we launched our final fundraising push of 2015. Thanks to you, and other like-minded donors, our Year End campaign was the most successful in our history, with over $29,000 raised for the people and communities of Tanzania. We couldn't have done it without the support of our GlobalGiving community.

What does that mean for the people of Tanzania?

$29,000 could fund mobility-restoring procedures and surgeries for 150 people with clubfoot. For 6-month-old Nelson, receiving corrective treatment last year unlocked a bright future.

Nelson was born with Bilateral Clubfoot, arthrogryposis, and an upper lip deformity. When his mother Monica delivered him at a Dar es Salaam hospital, the nurses confirmed the baby had clubfoot and said she should seek treatment at CCBRT.

“At the beginning,” she says “it was really disturbing me, but I started feeling better because relatives were encouraging me and telling me it is a normal thing. So, now I feel ok.”

Nelson’s parents heard about CCBRT through television ads and the nurses at the hospital where Monica delivered. They travelled over 15 miles to seek treatment, and would probably not have been able to pay for Nelson’s treatments had it not been for CCBRT’s reduced prices.

CCBRT’s medical team informed Nelson’s parents in the beginning that throughout the treatment their baby might need surgery, but the team has seen results using only the Ponsetti casting method. Monica feels increasingly confident that the treatments are working as she sees improvement in Nelson’s feet. Her relatives back at home told her they thanked God that she had found an opportunity to help her baby.

Monica is very thankful for CCBRT, and has been encouraged by the doctors and nurses here. “Before there was nowhere for people with disabilities to go. Now there is a place for parents and children to find treatment and comfort. I think CCBRT is the best hospital, especially as a disability hospital.”

When asked what her hopes are for Nelson, she said, “I hope that he will be well and be like a normal child. I hope the treatment goes well and he gets a good education, walks, plays sports with others, and I wish that he could be a doctor.”

Her message to donors is simply ‘thank you.’ “Thank you so much. I really appreciate the support and I hope [you] can continue support in Tanzania and Africa in general.”

Nelson’s story is not unusual in Tanzania, but thanks to your support, it is becoming increasingly less common. Your generous gifts will continue to provide access to the high quality healthcare services the people of Tanzania need and deserve. With every dollar you ensure that every individual has the opportunity to receive the high quality care they need, and reach their greatest potential. Together we are unlocking new opportunities and fresh starts for healthier, stronger individuals, families, and communities.

Thank you for your support in 2015. We can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.

Best wishes,

Abbey

Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
Photo credit: Maddie Johnson
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Kupona Foundation

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KuponaFdn
Project Leader:
Susana Oguntoye
Executive Director
Washington, DC - District of Columbia United States
$24,189 raised of $30,000 goal
 
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