Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and 11 cosponsors have introduced "The Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope and Dignity Restoration Act," H.R. 2888, which would authorize the President to provide assistance to prevent and treat women suffering from obstetric fistula, a horrific and debilitating condition that affects women after prolonged labor during childbirth, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
"This legislation will help ease the suffering of millions of mothers, reduce the impact on their families and communities, and rededicate the leadership of the U.S. to the health and safety of women and children around the globe," Maloney said.
"Obstetric fistula is almost entirely preventable--and preventing it is a life-changer. With an estimated 2 million current cases, according to the World Health Organization, and an additional 50,000 to 100,000 new cases arising each year, this is something well within the ability of the U.S. to help solve--so we should step up to the plate and do it!," Maloney said.
The bill authorizes the President to provide assistance to prevent and treat fistula worldwide, including through increasing access to prenatal care, emergency obstetric care, postnatal care, and voluntary family planning; building local capacity and improving national health systems; and supporting reintegration and training programs to help women who have undergone treatment return to full and productive lives. The legislation also supports coordination among donors, multilateral institutions, the private sector, nongovernmental and civil society organizations.