Until a decade ago, fistula was literally not on the global health agenda, even though it is arguably the most devastating and disabling of all childbirth injuries. The simple reason: women who suffer from fistula live almost exclusively in rural areas of very resource constrained countries, and are therefore some of the least empowered human beings on the planet.
Even more shocking is that more babies die within the first day of life in the United States than any other country in the world. This is not only the highest rate of any industrialized country, it is also 50 percent greater than all other industrialized countries combined. In our own backyard, mothers are experiencing unhealthy pregnancies and deliveries, and babies are dying.