Nov 2017

Join Natalie Imbruglia in the fight to end Obstetric Fistula

Posted by naomi on Friday 3rd November 2017

This November, Melbourne will welcome Natalie Imbruglia back to our beautiful city for the Spring Racing Carnival. Natalie is a British-Australian singer-songwriter, model, actress and philanthropist who is passionate about ending the suffering of women and children around the world. Since the 1990s, when she began accruing much acclaim for her status as a major musical influence, Natalie has felt she needed to become more involved in the fight to end obstetric fistula.

In November last year, Ethiopiaid was thrilled to announce that Natalie had agreed to become our ambassador for ending obstetric fistula, helping us to raise awareness of this devastating childbirth injury. 

Since then Natalie has advocated extensively for the rights and health of Ethiopian women and children, travelling to Ethiopia on two occasions where she spent time with our partners Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) and Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ), in particular of which she developed a deep passion and respect for their work. 

Both WAHA and HHOJ work to assist women who have suffered obstetric fistulas – a birthing injury as a result of a prolonged, obstructed labour. Obstetric fistulas are chronic and painful conditions which rob women of their dignity and their lives. This condition most commonly occurs amongst young mothers living in poor, rural settings with extremely limited access to health care and skilled birthing attendants, and women who have suffered from Female Genital Mutilation. Compounding their suffering, these women often become extremely isolated from their community and in most cases, suffer for years, if not decades, before receiving help. WAHA and HHOJ are working to end this by caring for women who have become sufferers of obstetric fistulas, and by training women to become skilled birthing attendants so more women can deliver their babies safely.

Deeply moved by the suffering these women endure, Natalie felt she needed to become more involved in the fight against fistula. In 2009, along with fistula survivor Sarah Omega Kidangasi, Natalie addressed the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations to call attention to obstetric fistulas. She spoke to 400 attending ministers, detailing the condition, as well as how treatable it is. Natalie’s work is crucial in terms of raising awareness of the condition.

Every minute, a woman dies needlessly in pregnancy or childbirth, and for each of these women, 20-30 women suffer a serious birth injury.

Obstetric fistula is a treatable condition, and we cannot allow any more women to suffer.

If you wish to join Natalie in the fight to end obstetric fistula, please donate now:

 

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