Obstetric fistulae in West Africa: patient perspectives

Lisa M. Nathan, Charles H. Rochat, Bogdan Grigorescu, Erika Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study is to gain insight into the nature of obstetric fistulae in Africa through patient perspectives. Study Design: At l'Hôpital Saint Jean de Dieu in Tanguieta, Benin, 37 fistula patients underwent structured interviews about fistula cause, obstacles to medical care, prevention, and reintegration by 2 physicians via interpreters. Results: The majority of participants (43%) thought their fistulae were a result of trauma from the operative delivery. Lack of financial resources (49%) was the most commonly reported obstacle to care, and prenatal care (38%) was most frequently reported as an intervention that may prevent obstetric fistulae. The majority (49%) of the participants requested no further reintegration assistance aside from surgery. Conclusion: Accessible emergency obstetric care is necessary to decrease the burden of obstetric fistulae in Africa. This may be accomplished through increased and improved health care facilities and education of providers and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e40-e42
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • global health
  • international heath
  • maternal morbidity
  • obstetric fistula
  • obstructed labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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