We are excited to announce that the construction work for the Fistula Treatment Center at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital [MWRH] in Surkhet is well underway and recently celebrated the official foundation stone laying ceremony.

In the presence of many guests and staff the foundation stone was laid together by representatives from the MWRH, District Public Health Office and INF. During the ceremony Dr Dambar Khadka, Medical Superintendent at the MWRH, expressed thanks for the continued support from INF to MWRH. He also acknowledged Dr Shirley’s, INF Gynaecologist, contribution towards fistula treatment in Nepal including her efforts to make a fistula centre for western Nepal a reality.

Before the end of February next year MWRH will have a 17 bed capacity building that will offer both medical and surgical services to fistula patients.

Since 2009 INF has run fistula camps in the remote Western districts of Nepal; healing women and helping to combat the stigma they carry. Over 200 patients have been treated despite lack of facilities and shortage of beds in the MWRH and every year these camps have seen women with restored hope and life after fistula surgery. Patients labelled ‘a burden’ by their family now contribute to the household income, and others shunned by their family and community because they leaked urine have become dry [and blessed with babies].

It is exciting to know that in a little over a year women with obstetric fistula need not wait for the annual camps to receive treatment. The Fistula Centre at the MWRH will be the first facility of its kind in the whole of western Nepal; where patients can be treated, counselled and cared for throughout the year by well-trained and dedicated staff, and where doctors and nurses can come for training.

For those women who suffer for years in silence thinking that there is no cure for their condition and feeling too embarrassed to seek help, this centre means more than physical recovery for them, it is a hope for transformed lives.

This centre is a big step in our fight to end fistula in Nepal and we would like to thank all our partners who have joined us in this fight. Our heartfelt gratitude to our funding partners of this project specially TERRA TECH, BMZ, Projekt 33, and INF UK.