The Crown Princess Meets with Fistula Survivors at the Women Deliver Conference

9 June 2010
Author: UNFPA
At Women Deliver, Crown Princess Mary met with two fistula survivors; Sarah Omega from Kenya and Awatif Altayib from Sudan. Photo: UNFPA

In one of her first official mission as Patron for UNFPA to support the agency's work to promote maternal health and safer motherhood, H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary participated in Women Deliver II, a major international conference dedicated to maternal health.

There, she met with UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid, Safiye Cagar, director of the Fund's external relations branch, and the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Søren Pind.

Following a panel discussion on obstetric fistula, she spoke with two fistula survivors. The compelling stories of Sarah Omega and Awatif Altayib, who have now become advocates for maternal health, moved the Crown Princess. They discussed the need for stronger health systems, so that obstetric fistula can become as rare in developing countries as it is in Scandinavia.

At the conference, the Crown Princess  met with UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid and Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Søren Pind.


In spite of the many tragedies discussed at Women Deliver, the thematic messages that emerged from the global conference were positive and resolute, and they are ones that the Crown Princess is committed to helping deliver:

  • Maternal and newborn mortality rates are dropping, but the work is far from done.
  • Investing in girls and women is not only the right thing to do, but it makes economic sense.
  • Solutions exist to achieve MDG5; what is needed are the political will and allocation of resources.
the Sudan
Population : 42.5 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24

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