We work closely with an American NGO The Uganda Village Project
They use volunteers to work among the rural villages helping make bore-holes and teaching primary health measures. They have adopted the support of fistula patients as a major project. One of our cured patients Loy, has been employed to tour around the villages giving safe motherhood lectures and searching for patients. When they are found she arranges transport to one of our repair camps and stays to help with their care until they are ready to return home. She will make follow up visits to deal with any problems and report on progress to us.
Using the resources of UVP a whole band of ex-patients has been trained to be basic fistula ambassadors to educate the rural people about the value of ante natal care and delivery in a health centre ( 60% of women in Uganda still have home deliveries usually with a traditional birth care attendant). They still find women hiding in the bush who have been wet for years believing there is no hope of cure. Imagine being continually wet for upto 60 yrs!!
More recently Loy has been instrumental in starting to recruit other cured patients as ‘Fistula Ambassadors’ for their village and area. They can tell others of their experience and what can be done. We are really pleased that we have been able to help develop these initiatives. They undergo a short training course and are presented with a certificate at the end.