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Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future

by Kupona Foundation
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Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future

Dear Friends, 

Tomorrow is Bonus Day! Beginning at 9:00 am ET on July 18th, your donation goes further to support health workers like Dorcas and the women and babies they serve. Gifts from $100 to $1,000 will receive up to a 50% match!

Dorcas is a valued member of our partner CCBRT’s Maternal Health Capacity Building Team (MHCB), which works to strengthen health systems in Dar es Salaam by expanding the knowledge of clinicians and quality of care. On a recent visit to a clinic that provides antenatal care for pregnant women, she met 17-year-old Jane, who was expecting her first child. Jane’s mother explained that they had been to the clinic before and had been told that Jane needed a male partner with her to receive services. “I told Jane and her mother that nothing like that is needed to access services,” remembers Dorcas. “Even when their partners are not around, women should still be able to access the care they need.” 

Further conversations at the clinic led Dorcas to discover that the clinic had misinterpreted best practice knowledge advising that male partners should be encouraged to accompany their expectant partner on visits to receive information on how to best support mother and child.Dorcas shared, “The enforcement was misguided, and further stigmatizes the vulnerable, such as teenagers and single mothers. We should be empowering them instead…That’s why CCBRT’s Capacity Building Program is so important – on-site coaching and practice facilitation has proven to be the best practice for behavior change, so that every mother in need can access the best care.” You can read Dorcas’ full story here. 

Your support makes Dorcas’ work possible, as well as the critical awareness-raising efforts of her colleagues who are out in the community dispelling myths and misconceptions about obstetric fistula; spreading the word that fistula is treatable, and free treatment is available. Improving the quality maternal healthcare is the best way to prevent obstetric fistula. Better educating women and their partners empowers them to demand better care. I invite you to join us for this special matching opportunity tomorrow, to make your gift go further. The higher the amount, the higher the match! 


Thank you for your support.

With gratitude, 
Abbey Kocan

Executive Director, Kupona Foundation

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Dear Friends,

Today we’re celebrating the sixth annual International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury caused by prolonged, obstructed labor without access to timely, high-quality medical care. The injury leaves women with chronic incontinence, leaking urine, feces or both due to a hole formed between the birth canal and bladder or rectum during childbirth. In 90% of cases, the baby doesn’t survive the traumatic delivery.

The condition and stigma surrounding it often cause women to be isolated or rejected by their families and communities. Women in disadvantaged communities live with the condition for years – or even decades – because they’re unaware that fistula can be treated, or unable to access treatment.

That was true for 82-year-old Msonde, who lived with fistula for 60 years after developing it during the delivery of her second child in 1958. It wasn’t until last year that she learned from her niece that she could receive free fistula treatment at our local partner CCBRT. In August, Msonde traveled to CCBRT and underwent surgery that successfully repaired her fistula.

"When I arrived at CCBRT, I could not believe it was possible, but I found many women undergoing fistula treatment," Msonde said after her surgery. “I wish my husband could still have been alive. We are old now, but he could have been able to see me walking freely.”

In Jovitha’s case, she developed fistula after being in labor for three days during the delivery of her fourth child. Tragically, her baby did not survive. Despite quickly learning that she had fistula, the trauma of the delivery, loss and injury deeply affected Jovitha’s mental health and self-esteem.

“My experience – it’s unexplainable,” Jovitha shared. “I hated myself for three months. I had urine flowing down my legs and was extremely embarrassed. But…thankfully I had that support that so many other women don’t feel from their families and communities.”

Fistula is treatable through surgery and rehabilitation. What’s more, it’s preventable – through access to high-quality maternal health services.

This International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, we’re asking for your help to eradicate fistula in Tanzania.

Share your support for the global movement to fight fistula by using the hashtag #EndFistula in your posts or stories on social media.

Join the movement. Make a donation in honor of a strong woman or mother in your life - helping us provide comprehensive treatment for women like Msonde and Jovitha and helping address the root cause of fistula through improved maternal and newborn healthcare.

Regardless of income or location, we believe that NO woman should live with obstetric fistula. We hope you’ll join us in making that dream a reality. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Abbey Kocan

Executive Director, Kupona Foundation


P.S. Read Jovitha’s full story here, and learn more about Msonde’s journey here.

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Save the Date for International Day to #EndFistula
Save the Date for International Day to #EndFistula

Dear Friends,

This Thursday, May 23rd is International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. While as many as 3,000 Tanzanian women develop fistula every year, many in Tanzania have never heard of it; the condition is still surrounded by lack of awareness, confusion and stigma.

Asha, now 44, developed fistula during the birth of her second child in 1996, when she was 23.

Without a skilled medical attendant present, Asha’s second labor and delivery was long and painful. Afterwards, like many women living with fistula, Asha was unable to control her urine or feces.

It would be six years before Asha even learned the name of her condition, which continued worsening as she gave birth to four more children. Unable to afford fistula surgery at her district hospital with her income as a local farmer, 16 more years passed before Asha learned about our partner CCBRT’s free fistula services.

In February 2019, after 22 years too many, Asha underwent a successful fistula repair surgery at CCBRT.

Realizing she could finally access treatment was “the beginning of a new life chapter,” Asha said. Read Asha’s full story here.

Obstetric fistula is preventable with access to timely, high-quality maternal health services. No woman should live with fistula for 22 years, or even two months.

Tomorrow, on International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, we’re raising awareness about fistula and mobilizing support to eradicate fistula in Tanzania. Stay tuned to learn how you can help, and visit our websiteFacebook or Instagram for more stories from women affected by fistula and the health workers working tirelessly to prevent it.

Sincerely,

The Kupona Foundation team

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Dear Friends,

As we shared in our last report, in honor of Mother’s Day and International Day to End Obstetric Fistula on May 23rd, this month we’re celebrating mothers and the healthcare workers who keep them safe.

Today, we also want to celebrate you for partnering with us to help women holistically recover from obstetric fistula, as well as to prevent and eradicate fistula in Tanzania, by sharing recent program updates from our local partner CCBRT.

In mid-December, ten trainees graduated from The Mabinti Centre’s vocational training program, after receiving eight months of instruction in skills like sewing, screen printing and beading, as well as numeracy, English and business. At graduation, each woman received both a diploma and a business starter kit that included a sewing machine, calculator, pair of scissors, and fabric. Just this month, Mabinti welcomed its 2019 class of 12 trainees!

The Mabinti Centre also took a significant step forward this spring when it opened a storefront in a popular outdoor shopping mall in Dar es Salaam. By increasing revenue from product sales, Mabinti will be able to increasingly reinvest both in its operations and in CCBRT’s fistula program, helping to provide free, high quality holistic treatment to more women in need. Take a one minute tour of Mabinti’s new store here.

Finally, at the end of last year, CCBRT’s continued advocacy led the government to agree to include fistula in the official training curriculum for its community health workers (CHWs). Based at the village level, CHWs are uniquely placed to identify and refer women living with fistula. CCBRT’s fistula program team is working closely with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health to teach all government CHWs about fistula, making them fistula “ambassadors” - a testament to the importance of engaging health workers to #EndFistula in Tanzania.

Thank you for helping make this life-changing work possible.

Warmly,

Abbey Kocan

Executive Director, Kupona Foundation

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Dear Friends,

Each year in Tanzania, 11,000 women die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, and 3,000 more develop obstetric fistula, a debilitating birth injury. We can change this. Our greatest resource in doing so? Front line health workers.

Studies of Tanzania’s over-congested, under-resourced health facilities have blamed “personnel motivation” and staff’s “low productivity” for many of the failures of the country’s health system. In contrast, our collaborative Maternal Health Capacity Building (MHCB) program focuses on encouraging, empowering and enabling front line health workers.

Dr. Timothy is one of our expert emergency obstetric care trainers and clinical coaches. He spends at least three days a quarter at each of our 22 partner facilities, working alongside health worker to address skill gaps through coaching, mentoring and engaging health workers to identify problems and implement solutions.

In the past five years, the generosity of donors like you has enabled MHCB to train more than 5,000 maternal and newborn health workers, empowering them with the skills and confidence they need to save lives and prevent obstetric fistula. The result? A 40% reduction in maternal deaths and a stronger referral system that’s better equipped to provide timely emergency obstetric care in order to prevent new cases of fistula.

What’s more, health workers trained by MHCB have a heightened sense of ownership. As one manager put it: “If today, there were 10 maternal deaths, I know that it doesn’t have to be like that tomorrow. MHCB works hand-in-hand with us to identify problems and implement solutions.”

Your continued partnership has helped us save thousands of lives and prevent traumatic injuries like obstetric fistula. As you celebrate Mother’s Day, I invite you to also celebrate the healthcare providers in your life and the healthcare providers in Tanzania, who are working tirelessly to create a better, safer tomorrow for mothers and newborns. A gift of $50 provides the resources necessary for four safe deliveries. A gift of $100 trains two maternal health workers to save lives at birth.

Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you!

Sincerely,

Dr. Brenda D’mello

OB/GYN, CCBRT MHCB Project Manager and Technical Advisor

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Organization Information

Kupona Foundation

Location: Saratoga Springs, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KuponaFdn
Project Leader:
Abbey Kocan
Executive Director
Saratoga Springs, NY United States
$18,165 raised of $50,000 goal
 
231 donations
$31,835 to go
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