Maternal and Child Health

United Methodist Women and USAID Partner to Address Fistula

United Methodist Women and USAID Partner to Address Fistula
Participants at the workshop in Mozambique

Maputo—The Mozambique Women’s Desk of The United Methodist Church is organizing a workshop on awareness and prevention of fistula in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) in the country.

The workshop will be held September 3-4, 2014, in the Pio Box Seminary at Av. Kim il Sung in Maputo and will bring together 60 participants from the 13 districts of The United Methodist Church Mozambique South Episcopal area. The workshop’s main theme is “How to fight/prevent obstetric fistula in Mozambique.” Other topics to be addressed during the workshop include: the importance of facility-based prenatal care, labor and delivery care, and postpartum care as well as danger signs during pregnancy, delivery and the post-partum period; the importance of family planning for women and child health; issues surrounding maternal mortality in Mozambique; and screening and treatment for cervical, breast and prostate cancer.

Participants will include young women, men, young adult presidents and women’s presidents from all 13 districts. Lectures will be led by trained health professionals from the MCHIP Mozambique project.

Obstetric fistula is a medical condition resulting from prolonged or obstructed labor when adequate medical care is not available, which causes a fistula (hole) either between the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina. This condition can lead to lifelong incontinence and social ostracism. Pregnancy in adolescence, geographic distance from health facilities, the status of women in communities and limited access to education also contribute to fistula, which disproportionately affects young women in the country.

This workshop seeks to educate and engage churches and community members on women’s reproductive health issues and will train women as community trainers and activists who will return back to their communities to advocate for women’s health and rights.

Support for this workshop comes from by the Mission Giving of United Methodist Women members. Through their generosity, United Methodist Women members help empower and improve the lives of women, youth and children in the United States and around the world.

Posted or updated: 9/3/2014 11:00:00 PM