|TERREWODE's staff counsels a fistula patient during hospitalization following a surgery in Mbale Hospital. They collaborate with local hospitals to identify, refer and support women and girls affected by fistula so they can receive free treatment.|
TERREWODE currently partners with Uganda's Ministry of Health to provide surgical treatment for women and girls with obstetric fistulas. Established partnerships exist between the organization and five regional referral hospitals and a national referral hospital (Mulago) to provide free, quality treatment services. Currently, only two hospitals in the country offer routine fistula repair surgeries. These hospitals, Soroti and Mulago, can offer these services because of resident surgeons and because of the support that TERREWODE provides in those areas.
During the treatment process, TERREWODE identifies patients and makes referrals to the hospitals as well as schedules treatment with individual surgeons. TERREWODE also provides material support to women if needed including costs for transportation to and from the health facility, fees relating to treatment (surgeon fees and medical supplies), and other costs associated with the care of patients during their hospital stay (food and general maintenance).
In addition, by working with the nursing staff at the different partner hospitals pre- and post-operative counseling are provided to patients (this service alters depending on the hospital).
Needs: Although the Ugandan government has pledged to provide free treatments for obstetric fistula, the available resources are limited so many women cannot receive the treatment surgeries required during the full treatment and recovery period as it should be for complete healing.
TERREWODE tries to fill this gap in treatment because we believe that access to treatment is a basic human right and helps survivors live with dignity. Today, TERREWODE can provide surgical treatment to 100 women per year. The organization would like to increase their capacity to 400 women per annum since government support remains key in the fight to eliminate fistula in Uganda.