The Association for the Rehabilitation and Re-orientation of Women for Development (TERREWODE) headquartered in soroti, eastern Uganda, is a leading non-profit Ugandan NGO, pioneering best practices for the elimination of obstetric fistula in Uganda for over 16 years.
Founded in 1999 by Alice Emasu (picture left) and the women of Teso sub region, TERREWODE aims to build community capacity to transform the conventional healthcare and economic system to improve status and livelihood among women and girls in relation to maternal and child health.
The Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA) of which Emasu was a board member, and Rural Outreach Programme (ROP) in Soroti and Kaberamido Districts (1997-1999), provided a platform for TERREWODE’s formation as a legal entity which works hand in hand with the ministry of health.
Building community capacities to systematically empower women and girls to meaningfully participate in development activities to improve their livelihoods, families and communities.
Empowered women and girls embracing the world with improved livelihoods.
The local and international attention is galvanizing to eliminate obstetric fistula. Slowly but steadily, the word fistula is becoming a domestic item in many communities in Uganda. Largely, of course, it’s bad news and the world is yet to rejoice success in eliminating fistula thus, we should not be celebrating high numbers in this era.
Statistics indicate thus 200,000 women sufferers are in Uganda especially within impoverished rural communities. Moreover 1,900 women and girls suffer fistula annually often following difficult delivery, which in most cases is stillbirth.
For the women and girls who are successfully surgically treated, their immediate reaction would be of relief from ostracism, trauma and stigma but this is not the case. Surgeries alone to reverse incontinence remains inadequate without strategies to wipe away traumatic memories of fistula. Surgeries parse do not empower the affected woman to fight stigma and unlock gender inequalities that perpetrate a cycle of poverty and denial of reproductive rights.Social reintegration therefore helps the women to walk a new life of dignity. It has proven helpful to those women with repeated failed fistula surgeries or incurable fistula conditions. TERREWODE continues to support both curable and incurable categories of women through her innovative and holistic social reintegration program. TERREWODE is happy to share with you the “Tears of Joy” 2014 Annual Report, which is a reflection of progress in its holistic fistula program to achieve a Uganda free from fistula.
Consequently, we identified and supported 600 affected women and girls to access free surgical treatment across the country; thanks to the partners and networks. Gratitude goes to the Ministry of Health, the doctors and the management of Mulago National referral hospital, Soroti, Mbale, Moroto, Mubende, Kayunga, Kiryandongo, Mityana, Namayengo, Amolatar and Lira Regional Referral and General Hospitals including Health Centre IVs.
Social reintegration is a process but most of the women treated were supported to begin the journey to fully socially reintegrate in the communities and live an improved quality of life. The program also builds capacity of survivors to achieve economic empowerment and self-reliance to support themselves, their families and communities.
Special thanks to the Fistula Foundation, Worldwide Fistula Fund, Islamic Development Bank, Fund for Global Human Rights, Grand Challenges-Canada and Ashoka East Africa. We owe a lot to the "End fistula" campaign in Uganda spearheaded by the Ugandan Ministry of Health. In addition, we are greatful to the efforts by the Fistula Technical Working Group, Engender Health, AmrefHealth Africa, United Nations population Fund and Uganda Fistula Fund.
Regarding the CSO networks; including the Domestic Violence Coalition, HIV/PEP Coalition and the Partnership for Maternal, Child and Newborn Health, we appreciate their collaboration with greate respect. Last but not least, we recognize the support by the District Local Governments, Health facilities and the Obstetric Fistula Awareness and Advocacy Network (OFAAN) members, including the Fistula Survivors Solidarity Groups, the schools and the media especially from our areas of operations. We look forward to continued partnerships in 2016.