LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo., Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Dignity:Liberia's maternity waiting home, House of Hope and Dignity, is on target to be operational in 2022. The home will provide maternal health care and address a common but preventable injury – obstetric fistula.
Obstetric fistula impacts about 1,200 Liberian women annually. It is a severe tear between a woman's birth canal and her bladder or her rectum, typically resulting from obstructed labor or from sexual assault. On average, Liberian fistula patients are seventeen years old and have had their fistula for five years. Without prevention or treatment of fistulas, they can expect lifelong suffering from physical pain, social shame, and chronic symptoms like incontinence.
Sunday K. Johnson, Chief of Varney Goyah Town, Todee District, reports that fistula is one of the major problems facing Liberia, especially in the villages. He extended his welcome to the nonprofit, stating it is hard for the villagers to make it to Monrovia or even nearby Kakata when medical needs arise. Already the village is seeing a positive economic impact; Dignity:Liberia hired several construction workers from the village, as well as a cook to provide daily meals for the workers.
House of Hope and Dignity will help prevent fistula by providing regular obstetric appointments to identify high risk patients and provide attended births. Partnership with the Liberian government and its citizens will be critical to ensuring the facility's sustainability.
They seek donors and advocates for the project through their Big Push fundraising campaign.
Dignity:Liberia is a nonprofit, 501c3 organization with ten years of experience providing maternal care, specifically the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula. Its board members either grew up in Liberia or have developed close ties to the country as adults. Dignity:Liberia is also a registered Liberian NGO. The organization partners with the local medical and business communities, and those working closest with fistula survivors. Dignity:Liberia has launched a fundraising campaign, The Big Push.