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A large portion of the Eritrean population lives in extremely rural parts of the country. Here, underage marriage and female genital mutilation are still practiced. Mothers are often forced to deliver their babies at home, risking complications such as obstetric fistula. This is a major injury following prolonged and obstructed delivery, leading to the constant leakage of urine and/or faeces through the vagina.

Fistula is prevalent in Eritrea, especially among girls who find themselves in a position of marriage and pregnancy before the age of 18 years. The Campaign to End Fistula started in Eritrea in 2003, with the support of UNFPA. Since then, more than 1,700 fistula repairs have been successfully conducted. Graduating doctors are also required to be able to perform emergency Caesarian sections to prevent fistula.

This video shows the difference UNFPA's intervention to surgically repair and socially reintegrate women suffering from fistula has had in their lives.