In the News

Obstetric Fistula in Pakistan - Another Blight on the Child Bride

17 April 2012
Author: UNFPA

KARACHI --- It was personal experience that turned Gul Bano and her cleric husband, Ahmed Khan, into ambassadors against early marriage and its worst corollary – obstetric fistula which allows excretory matter to flow out through the birth canal.

Bano and her cleric husband campaigning against child marriage. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

As is the custom in the remote mountain village of Kohadast in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan province, Bano was married off as soon as she reached adolescence, at 15, and was pregnant the following year.

There being no healthcare facility near Kohadast, Bano did not receive antenatal care and no one thought there would be complications. But, events were to prove different.

After an extended labour lasting three days, Bano delivered a dead baby. "I never saw the colour of my son’s eyes or his hair. I never held him once to my bosom," recalls Bano, now 20.

Her troubles had only begun. A week later, Bano realised she was always wet with urine and reeking of faecal matter. "I was passing urine and stools together."

Read the full story by By Zofeen Ebrahim in IPS News

Pakistan
Population : 204.6 mil
Fertility rate
3.3
Maternal Mortality Ratio
178
Contraceptives prevalence rate
42
Population aged 10-24
29%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 49%
Girls 40%

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Publications

These guidelines are part of UNFPA's We Decide Programme aimed at promoting the rights of women and young persons with disabilities. 

Resources
The United Nations Secretary-General report outlines efforts made by the international community at the global, regional and national levels to end obstetric fistula, and offers recommendations to intensify those efforts with a human rights-based approach.
In Afghanistan, obstetric fistula left Noorjahan living in the shadows for 49 years. With support from UNFPA, she received surgery to repair the injury. © Andrea Bruce/ NOOR
Events

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth. The condition "is silently robbing millions of women and girls of their health, hope and dignity," said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem in her statement marking the...

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