Zonta at the United Nations

Commission on the Status of Women

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Since 2008, Zonta International has provided US$2,550,000 to UNFPA to support the Liberia Fistula Project. More than 1,000 women and adolescent girls received treatment and more than 200 fistula survivors completed the rehabilitation program and were successfully reintegrated into their communities.

The number of new fistula cases was decreasing and more recurrent cases were emerging; however, in 2014, Liberia was hit by the Ebola outbreak. The already fragile health system was overwhelmed and unable to adequately address the needs of women who needed maternal health services. Pregnant women were turned away from health facilities or not attended to by skilled health workers for fear of contracting Ebola. As a result, the number of new cases of fistula once again began to rise and now represent 85 percent of the cases treated since fistula surgeries resumed in early 2015.

Zonta International has committed an additional US$1,000,000 to the Liberia Fistula Project from 2016 to 2018.



How Zonta helps [h3]

With properly trained surgeons, appropriately equipped facilities and the necessary aftercare, the treatment of uncomplicated obstetric fistula has a 90 percent success rate. The average cost of a fistula surgery and post-operative care is approximately US$400, while the cost of social rehabilitation for a fistula survivor (provision of skills training and psychosocial support) is on average US$1,300.

Zonta International’s contribution of US$1 million will:
  • Integrate obstetric fistula into maternal and child health services
  • Expand treatment services without compromising quality
  • Enhance advocacy, community mobilization and health promotion activities
  • Coordinate fistula activities and partner with government ministries and training institutions
  • Maintain the rehabilitation and reintegration components

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