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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007 Nov;99 Suppl 1:S117-21. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Obstetric fistula: guiding principles for clinical management and programme development, a new WHO guideline.

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  • 1Making Pregnancy Safer Department, World Health Organization (Seconded to UNFPA), Geneva, Switzerland.


It is estimated that more than 2 million women are living with obstetric fistulas (OFs) worldwide, particularly in Africa and Asia, and yet this severe morbidity remains hidden. As a contribution to the global Campaign to End Fistula, the World Health Organization (WHO) published Obstetric fistula: Guiding principles for clinical management and programme development, a manual intended as a practical working document. Its 3 main objectives are to draw attention to the urgency of the OF issue and serve as an advocacy document for prompt action; provide policy makers and health professionals with brief, factual information and principles that will guide them at the national and regional levels as they develop strategies and programs to prevent and treat OFs; and assist health care professionals as they acquire better skills and develop more effective services to care for women treated for fistula repair.

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