Capacity Building in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery: Global Health Partnership Beyond Fistula Care in Ethiopia

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International Urogynecology Journal

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Objective: Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury that leaves women incontinent, stigmatized and often isolated from their families and communities. In Ethiopia, although much attention has focused on treating and preventing obstetric fistula, other more prevalent childbirth-related pelvic floor disorders, such as pelvic organ prolapse, non-fistula-related incontinence and post-fistula residual incontinence, remain largely unattended. The lack of international and local attention to addressing devastating pelvic floor disorders is concerning for women in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this article is to highlight the need for a more comprehsive approach to pelvic floor care and to share our experience in addressing it.

Methods: Here, we share our experience launching one of the first formal training programs in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) in Ethiopia.

Results: This fellowship program provides quality care while strengthening the health system in its local context. This program has positioned Ethiopia to be a regional leader by providing comprehensive training of surgeons and allied health professionals, building appropriate health system and research infrastructure, and developing a formal FPMRS training curriculum.

Conclusion: We hope that sharing this experience will serve as a template for others championing comprehensive pelvic floor care for women in low- and middle-income countries.


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