Obstetric Fistula

International Development written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of efforts to reduce the incidence and impact of obstetric fistula.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party

DFID draws on the analysis of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for data regarding obstetric fistula and does not conduct its own assessments. WHO estimates that more than two million women and girls are living with fistula in developing countries, with 50,000 to 100,000 new cases occurring each year. However, these figures are based on the number of women seeking treatment and are likely to be gross underestimates. The full extent of the problem has never been mapped and reliable data on obstetric fistula is scarce. In 2004 UNFPA and EngenderHealth conducted a groundbreaking needs assessment study in nine African countries to provide the basis of our understanding on obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa.

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