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End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, today, we are marking the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

There’s a lot of uncertainty and increasing demand on our healthcare systems at this time. But we must remember that women and girls have to be protected from Obstetric Fistula, a vivid sign of gender and health inequality.

This year’s theme has a clear message “End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!” It is grave injustice that our most vulnerable women and girls suffer from this tragic childbirth injury. My message to all today is this: obstetric fistula is preventable and it must end! All mothers, regardless of social background, should have timely access to quality maternal health care services. Obstetric fistula is preventable, and it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, the cessation of harmful traditional practices, and timely access to obstetric care.

It is our collective responsibility to protect the vulnerable amongst us. Let’s work together to End Fistula, now more than ever!

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