Living Testimony: Obstetric Fistula and Inequities in Maternal Health (Advocacy Toolkit)


Obstetric fistula is an injury to the birth canal, resulting from prolonged labour, that has devastating physical and psychological effects on women's lives. Its persistence reveals vast inequities in access to and quality of reproductive health care.

Living Testimony: Obstetric Fistula and Inequities in Maternal Health brings together the voices of women from 29 countries in Africa, the Arab States, and Asia, who speak out about life with obstetric fistula. Their families, community members, and health care providers share knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives on pregnancy, delivery, and fistula.

This advocacy toolkit, produced by Family Care International and UNFPA in 2007, is available in English and French. It aims to provide guidance and tools to conduct advocacy for improving maternal health, and highlights how perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes related to pregnancy and delivery affect maternal mortality and morbidity, including obstetric fistula. The following tools are also available for download here:

  • Powerpoint presentation highlighting key findings and recommendations
  • Une présentation Powerpoint mettant en lumière les principales conclusions et les recommandations
  • Programmatic promising practices from 12 countries in Africa and Asia
  • Des pratiques programmatiques prometteuses de 12 pays en Afrique et en Asie
  • Communications guide, for targeting decision makers and opinion leaders through strategic messaging on maternal health and obstetric fistula - Sample press release
  • Un guide de communications pour cibler les décideurs et les leaders d'opinion àtravers des messages stratégiques sur la santé maternelle et la fistule obstétricale - Exemple de communiqué de presse