Fistula Care Begins Support to a Third Site in Rwanda

The Fistula Care Project is rapidly expanding its support of fistula treatment and prevention in Rwanda. In April 2009, the project began to support fistula care services at Kanombe Hospital, located in central-eastern Rwanda.

Kanombe Hospital is a military hospital that has been designated as the district hospital for Kicukiro. It is a 360-bed facility with 49 beds for obstetrics/gynecology and three beds reserved for fistula patients. There are three delivery rooms, with one operating theater available for cesarean section deliveries and gynecological procedures. Kanombe Hospital has renovated an adjoining space to serve as an additional operating theater for fistula repairs and gynecological procedures. The hospital sets aside one day each week for fistula repairs. Fistula Care will support renovation of an additional space for postoperative care, increasing the facility’s capacity to provide repairs during treatment and training camps and on an ongoing basis.

Kanombe Hospital will be supported to repair fistulas that are simple to moderate in complexity, as well as to provide prevention services and referrals. Fistula Care will support the cost of fistula repair surgery, training in fistula treatment and prevention, equipment, and supplies. The project has already supported the on-site training of two surgeons and their surgical teams, while the principal fistula surgeon and nurse traveled to Nigeria for additional surgical experience at a hospital supported by Fistula Care. In 2010, Fistula Care will support advanced training for the principal surgeon on board the Africa Mercy, in hopes that he will become an in-country mentor to the next generation of Rwandan fistula surgeons, in addition to his role in carrying out simple repairs and providing outreach services at Kanombe Hospital.