How many women have obstetric fistula?
We really do not know how many women have obstetric fistula. These women are spread to the far corners of the developing world. The problem is biggest in the most remote places. Even in places where they can be counted, many women with fistula are so ashamed of their condition that they do not want to come forward.
There is a quote from several years ago that most people use that states that 2 million women are living with fistula. Other people have made some assumptions and calculated the number around 3.5 million. In any case, we know there are millions living with fistula. These women are spread all over the developing world. The UNFPA Campaign to End Fistula is now under way in 47 countries in Africa, Asia and the Arab region.
At least 2 million women and as many as 3.5 million living with obstetric fistula and there are between 50,000 to 100,000 new cases every year. With this kind of volume of need, and an affordable surgical treatment that we know is 90% effective, you would be shocked at how few women get treated. Only 10,000.
That is right. 10,000 women, from among the millions in need, will get treated this year. That means the odds that a woman with fistula will get treated this year are between 1 in 205 and 1 in 360 depending on how many women currently have it.
Just for context, the odds of winning something in powerball are 1 in 35. Buy a ticket. You are six times more likely to win something than a woman with fistula is to get treated this year. Or send us some money to help us change the odds.