Fistula Care Plus at International Meetings

Fistula Care Plus staff have the opportunity to present at a variety of international conferences and meetings throughout the year. Here is a list of venues and presentations. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of any of the following posters or presentations, please send your detailed request to [email protected].

Presentations by Fistula Care/Fistula Care Plus staff and partners


  • 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research- Liverpool, England, October 9th










Presentations by Fistula Care/Fistula Care Plus staff and partners


5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

Panel: Cesarean section safety in low-resource settings: Addressing health system challenges that jeopardize maternal and newborn health

Health system challenges contribute to poor quality, inequitably distributed surgical obstetric care in low-resource settings. Increasing iatrogenic fistula from unsafe cesarean sections demonstrates the impact of these gaps. Panelists will present evidence regarding the systems contexts and pressures affecting cesarean care and the recommendations of a global consultation to examine these challenges.

Session panelists:

  • Lenka Benova, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Lina Roa, Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Harvard Medical School
  • Vandana Tripathi, Deputy Director, Fistula Care Plus Project, EngenderHealth


Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

Panel: Strengthening the Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia (SAO) Workforce to Ensure the Safety & Quality of Cesarean Section Services in Low-resource Settings.

The session shared HRH-focused findings and recommendations of a technical consultation on cesarean section quality and safety in low-resource settings, and identified strategies for action to support SAO workforce capacity and ensure safety and quality in Cesarean care. Presentations included:

International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Triennial Congress- Toronto, Canada, June 18-22

Panel: Obstructed labor doesn’t end at delivery: Strengthening postpartum care following prolonged/obstructed labor.Moderated by Lauri Romanzi. Panelists included:

Oral Presentations:

Poster Presentations:


Health Systems Research Symposium- Vancouver, Canada, November 14-18

E-panel: Expanding health system capacity to provide surgical care in low-resource settings: Integrating pelvic organ prolapse and genital fistula repair. Presented by Vandana Tripathi.

Satellite Session with Population Council: During the session “Getting There: Working Within Existing Health Systems to Overcome Barriers to Maternal and Reproductive Health Care,” FC+ Deputy Director Vandana Tripathi presented on Empowering women by promoting direct access to obstetric fistula information and services.


International Obstetric Fistula Working Group (IOFWG) and International Society of Fistula Surgeons (ISOFS)- Abuja, Nigeria, October 24-28

Fistula Care Plus and partners presented 34 abstracts at the 2016 ISOFS Conference. In total, the project supported 25 oral presentation, 8 posters, and one abstract accepted as both oral and poster. FC+ was also able to participate in various panels at the UNFPA- led IOFWG, which took place in Abuja in advance of the ISOFS Conference. A complete list of FC+ supported presentations at both events can be found here.


Women Deliver- Copenhagen, Denmark, May 16-19

  • The Forgotten Challenge: Maternal and Newborn Morbidity This concurrent session took place on Wednesday, May 18, from 3-4 pm in Room B3-1 of the Bella Center. The multifaceted discussion focused on what health systems must deliver to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity, including a discussion of effective management of prolonged/obstructed labor, personal reflections from a young Bangladeshi midwife, an examination of linkages between country of birth and morbidity, and lessons learned in a busy urban hospital in West Africa.
  • Safe Surgery: A Non-Negotiable for Women’s Health, Equity, and Wellbeing? In this breakfast event on Thursday, May 19, from 7-8 am in Room B4-5 of the Bella Center, an engaging dialogue featured Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital (recently named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People), Erin Anastasi of UNFPA Campaign to End Fistula, Dr. Luc de Bernis (formerly of UNFPA), and our own Dr. Lauri Romanzi as they explored the intersection of safe surgical care and women’s well-being, economic productivity, and equality.



Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City, Mexico- October 19-21, 2015

Panel 1: Quality of facility-based maternal and newborn care: Development and application of improved metrics, tools and analyses – presentation by FC+ Deputy Director Vandana Tripathi at Maternal and Child Survival Program-convened panel on “Quality of facility-based maternal and newborn care: Development and application of improved metrics, tools and analyses.”

Panel 2: Iatrogenic fistula: New Landscape, Emerging Challenges confront fistula care programs- Panel moderator Dr. Joseph Ruminjo

  • Iatrogenic genitourinary fistulas: an 18 -year retrospective review- Dr. Tom Raassen
  • Female Genital Fistula: changing etiologic landscape and policy implications for Bangladesh- Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel
  • Les fistules obstetricales iatrogene: etude descriptive des lesions anatomiques et des manoeuvres obstetricales associees- Dr. Dolores Nembunzu
  • Contribution of Iatrogenic Cause to Female Genital Fistula Burden in a New Classification System- Dr. Sanda Ganda

FIGO 2015 World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Vancouver, Canada


  • Comparative risk of obstetric fistula and iatrogenic fistula from short height in Bangladesh- Dr. Nazmul Huda, FC+ Bangladesh
  • Pregnancy care utilization by female genital fistula clients in Bangladesh- Dr. Nazmul Huda, FC+ Bangladesh
  • The role of fibrosis in post-operative healing of female genital fistula- Dr. Leon Mubikayi
  • The Panzi Classification and Score for female genital fistula- Dr. Christina Amisi, Panzi Hospital, DRC
  • Community Based Screening for Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria: a novel approach to measurement and estimation- Dr. Adamu Isah, FC+ Nigeria
  • Responding to the risk of sexual and gender based violence for abducted girls from Chibok, Northeastern Nigeria- Dr. Adamu Isah, FC+ Nigeria
  • Can religious leaders act as conduits for OF prevention messages and for community mobilization?- Molly Tumusiime, FC+ Uganda
  • Maternal Health data management: strengthening use in resource-constrained health facilities in Western Uganda-  Simon Ndizeye, FC+ Uganda
  • Translating RCT findings to practice: non inferiority of short duration catheterization after fistula repair- Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, FC+ Clinical Director


  • Fistula repair services in a country program with recurrent armed conflict: province of Maniema- Dr. Pascal Manga
  • Husband’s accompaniment and support during care of women with obstetric fistula- Justin Paluku
  • Iatrogenic fistula in Kinshasa, DRC: associated obstetric procedures and anatomic characteristics- Dr. Dolores Nembunzu, St. Joseph Hospital, Kinshasa DRC
  • Increasing utilization of maternal health and FP services through community engagement approaches in rural Uganda- Simon Ndizeye, FC+ Uganda
  • Female genital fistula: clinical audit of  complications from multi-country surgical treatment- Dr. Isaac Achwal, FC+ Clinical Associate

WAHO Good Practices Forum in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso- July 29-30, 2015

Oral Presentations


  • Draft Guidelines for Catheterization as Conservative Treatment in Nigeria: Dr. Adamu Isah, FC+ Nigeria Deputy Director
  • Rights and Choice Framework: Bethany Cole, Global Projects Manager
  • Village Safe Motherhood Committees in Guinea (poster): Bethany Cole, Global Projects Manager



ICM Prague 2014- “The Role of Midwives in the Prevention and Management of Childbirth Injury: Catheterization and Obstetric Fistula”

This interactive workshop was designed to: provide global context regarding the burden of childbirth injury, quality of care and neglected clinical skills, and the role of midwives; raise awareness about the role of catheterization in preventing and managing obstetric fistula; identify barriers and challenges to the wider use of this intervention; and generate action items to facilitate the use of this intervention and address identified barriers.

Panelists included:

  • Chair: Suzanne Stalls | Vice President, Department of Global Outreach, American College of Nurse-Midwives. “Setting the Stage” for a meeting on the role of midwives in prevention and management of childbirth injury”
  • Dr. Jemima Dennis-Antwi | President, Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. “Role of Midwives in Primary Prevention of Obstetric Fistula: Catheterization, barriers, and solutions”
  • Celia Pett | Midwife and reproductive health consultant. “Urinary Catheterization for Non-Surgical Treatment of Fistula”
  • Vandana Tripathi | Deputy Director, Fistula Care Plus Project at EngenderHealth. “Short-term catheterization following fistula repair surgery: Improving women’s experience and increasing health system capacity.”

International Research Advisory Group Meeting- Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, July 8-9 (co-hosted with Maternal Health Task Force)

The Fistula Care Plus (FC+) project and the Maternal Health Task Force co-convened the first meeting of the FC+ International Research Advisory Group (IRAG) in July 2014 to examine research needs related to fistula prevention and treatment. The report below presents research priorities identified through the meeting and an FC+ research action plan, developed in consultation with USAID, as well as a summary of the topics that the FC+ project anticipates addressing through study development and other activities.

Report of International Research Advisory Group (IRAG) Meeting

Technical Consultation on Fistula Measurement and Estimation- Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, July 10-11 (co-hosted with Maternal Health Task Force)

On July 10-11, FC+ and MHTF convened epidemiologists, demographers, fistula surgeons, midwives, and other researchers from around the world for a consultative meeting on fistula measurement and estimation, which took place alongside the FC+ IRAG meeting listed above. This group’s goal was to build a consensus regarding FC+ priorities related to the measurement and estimation of the prevalence and incidence of obstetric fistula. Presenters summarized available approaches to measurement and estimation, such as household surveys, Health Management Information Systems (HMIS), and estimation models. As broad agreement on priorities emerged in plenary discussions, specific research questions and potential study designs were also identified when possible. Participants also provided a set of recommendations to guide future measurement and estimation activities.

Report of Technical Consultation on Fistula Measurement and Estimation




Women Deliver in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – May 28-30, 2013

Karen Beattie presented during a panel on Results from the international alliance to prevent, treat and reintegrate women with obstetric fistula.”

Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania – January 15-17, 2013

At GMHC 2013, there were two Fistula Care Plus panels:

“Lessons from Fistula Programs: How to Improve Access for Better Maternal Health Outcomes” under the theme “Access to and Utilization of Quality Maternal Health Care”
Panel Moderator: Karen Beattie. Presentations:

  • “Experiences of Women Seeking Fistula Treatment from Five Countries: Implications for Prevention and Treatment Services” – Karen Beattie
  • “Community-Owned Data Collection to Prevent Maternal Mortality and Morbidities in Niger” – Ahmed Mamane
  • “Integrating Family Planning into Obstetric Fistula Treatment Services: Experiences from Gao, Mali” – Demba Traore, Ingrid Martens
  • “The Partograph Mentoring and Coaching Pilot in Uganda” – Lucy Asaba

“Quality Services: Putting Data to Use” under the theme “Measurement of the Quality of Maternal Health Care”
Panel Moderator: Carrie Ngongo. Presentations:

  • “Indications, Quality of Care and Outcomes for Cesarean Delivery: Results from a Five-Country Retrospective Record Review” – Evelyn Landry
  • “Building Hospitals’ Capacity to Use Obstetric Fistula Monitoring Data in Decision-Making” – Carrie Ngongo
  • “Mortality Audits in Fistula Programs” – Dr. Joseph Ruminjo




ISOFS Fourth Annual Meeting – November 15-17, 2012

The below presentations were given by Fistula Care Plus staff or partners:

  • “Community Based Screening of Genito-Urinary Fistula in Nigeria” – Dr. Adamu Isah
  • “Developing Global Guidelines to Meet the Needs of Women With Fistula Deemed Incurable” – Dr. Joseph Ruminjo
  • “Non-Inferiority of Short-Term Urethral Catheterization Following Fistula Repair Surgery: Study Update” – Dr. Joseph Ruminjo
  • “Prevention and Management of Obstetric Fistula: A New Curriculum for Nurses and Midwives” – Celia Pett
  • “Characteristics of Fistula Patients at Lamb Hospital” – Dr. Beatrice Ambauen-Berger, LAMB Hospital, Bangladesh
  • “Repair of Genito-Urinary Fistula: A Review of 76 Operations in 71 cases” – Dr Begum, Kumudini Hospital, Bangladesh
  • “Outcome of Surgical Repair of 43 Complicated Obstetric Fistula Cases in a Tertiary Care Centre in Dhaka City” – Dr. Fedousi Chowdhury, Ad-din Hospital, Bangladesh
  • “Implementation of the FIGO Competency-Based Fistula Surgery Training Manual” – Dr F. Kirya and EHCO Uganda
  • “De-Centralization of Obstetric Fistula Treatment Services in Niger” – Moussa Fatima, Fistula Eradication Network (REF) Niger

Poster Presentation:

  • Fistula Repair and Re-Integration Poster – LAMB Hospital, Bangladesh

FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics – October 7-12, 2012

Fistula Care Plus moderated a panel: “Expanding the Evidence Base for Prevention and Repair of Obstetric Fistula: Selected results from a program of research by the USAID-funded Fistula Care Plus Project at EngenderHealth”

This included 5 presentations about the project. The panel was moderated by Karen Beattie.

Presentations from Fistula Care Plus included:

  • “Results of a Record Review Study of Data Collection Procedures and Indications for Cesarean Delivery in Nine Hospitals in Bangladesh, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Uganda” – Evelyn Landry
  • “Revitalizing the Partograph in Low Resource Settings: Does the Evidence Support a Global Call to Action?” – Celia Pett
  • “Meeting the Needs of Women with Fistula Deemed Incurable in Low Resource Settings” – Dr. Joseph Ruminjo
  • “Development and Test of Prognostic Scoring Systems for Surgical Urinary Fistula Closure” – Dr. Veronica Frajzyngier
  • “Determinants of Fistula Repair Post-Operative Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study” – Dr. Mark Barone

APHA 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition – October 27-31, 2012

“Ethical Perspectives on Meeting the Needs of Women with Obstetric Fistula Deemed Incurable in Low Resource Settings” (Abstract)
Celia Pett, Julia Van Rooyen (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)

“Revitalizing the Partograph for Effective Labor Monitoring and Management in Low Resource Settings” (Abstract)
Celia Pett

“Experiences of Women Seeking Treatment for Obstetric Fistula: Findings From Bangladesh, Guinea Niger, Nigeria and Uganda” (Abstract)
Evelyn Landry



APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition – October 29 – November 2, 2011

“Evaluating a Community Engagement Intervention to Improve Maternal Health and Prevent Fistula in Guinea”
Ellen Brazier

“Results of a Record Review Study of Data Collection Procedures and Indications for Cesarean Delivery in 10 hospitals in Bangladesh, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Uganda”
Renee Fiorentino



ISOFS Third Annual Meeting – December 7-9, 2010

“Facility-Level Predictors of Urinary Fistula Repair Outcomes: Preliminary Results of a Multi-Center Prospective Cohort Study”
Dr. Mark Barone, Veronica Frajzyngier, Dr. Joseph Ruminjo

“Factors Influencing Fistula Repair Outcomes in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review of the Literature”
Veronica Frajzyngier, Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, Dr. Mark Barone

“Mapping Fistula Services in Uganda Using GIS Techniques”
Joslyn E. Meier, Bernard T. Opar (Ministry of Health, Uganda), Richard Okello (USAID/Uganda), Peter Mukasa Kivunike, Edith Mukisa

“An Overview of Training Models”
Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, Dr. Isaac Achwal

First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research – November 16-19, 2010

“Evaluating a Model for Integrating Fistula Care Plus Services in Guinea”
Karen Beattie, Moustapha Diallo, Evelyn Landry, Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, Mieko McKay, Renée Fiorentino

USAID Global Health Mini-University – October 8th, 2010

Why Aren’t We Better Using the Partograph that Saves Women’s Lives?”
Karen Levin, Jeanne Kabagema and Peter Mukasa

Global Maternal Health Conference – August 30th-September 1st, 2010

“Use of the Partograph: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Find Out”
Jeanne Kabagema

“The Necessity of Waiting Houses for Pregnant Women in the DR Congo”
Dr. Ahuka Longombe

“Ruptured Uterus in Western Uganda: A 2-Year Retrospective Review”
Dr. Peter Mukasa

“Identifying Research Needs and Priorities for Obstetric and Gynecologic Fistula”
Dr. Joseph Ruminjo

“Improving the Use of the Partograph – A Case Study from a Rural Integrated Health and Development Project”
Dr. Kris Prenger

“Strengthening Cesarean Section Services: A Case from a Rural Integrated Health and Development Project in Bangaldesh”
Dr. Kris Prenger

“Retrospective Record Review of Cesarean Deliveries at Two Hospitals in Uganda”
Evelyn Landry

“Classifications of Cesarean Sections: A Systematic Review”
Dr. Maria Regina Torloni

Poster presentations:

“Engagement of Clerics Improves Fistula Prevention and Reintegration Efforts in Northern Nigeria”
Dr. Adamu Isah

“Evolution of Maternal Mortality in a Conflict Area”
Dr. Manga Pascal Okenge

37th Annual International Conference on Global Health – June 15th, 2010

“Integrating Family Planning into Fistula Repair Services in Nigeria
Betty Farrell

Women Deliver – June 7-9, 2010

Click here to read a summary of our presentations at Women Deliver.

International Obstetric Fistula Working Group (IOWFG) Panel: “Innovations in Fistula Prevention, Treatment, and Reintegration”
Moderator: Karen Beattie

  • “Innovation in Fistula Prevention: Legislating for Safe Motherhood in Ebonyi State, Nigeria” – Josephine Elechi (First Lady, Ebonyi State, Nigeria) and Dr. Ileogben Sunday Adeoye
  • “Coordination of Fistula Programming: The Experience of the Fistula Eradication Network (REF) in Niger” – Mariama Moussa (Fistula Eradication Network, Niger)
  • “Innovations in the Monitoring and Evaluation of Fistula Programs: The Compendium of Indicators” – Dr. Florina Serbanescu and Dr. Cindy Berg (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

Unite for Sight 7th Annual Global Health & Innovation Conference – April 17-18, 2010

“Holistic Prevention, Treatment, Reintegration, and Governance Program for Fistula Survivors in Kissidougou, Guinea
Mieko McKay
Please click here to view the poster (284 KB).



ISOFS Second Annual Meeting – November 25-27, 2009

“Identification of Current Practices in Fistula Treatment: A Qualitative Review
Dr. Joseph Ruminjo

APHA 137th Annual Meeting – November 9-11, 2009

“Pre Repair Centers for Fistula Care Plus in Ethiopia
Marsha Hamilton,  Evelyn Landry

Poster presentation: “Identification of Current Practices in Fistula Treatment: A Qualitative Review
Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, Evelyn Landry

FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics – October 4-9, 2009

“Determinants of Postoperative Outcomes in Fistula Repair Surgery – Preliminary Results”
Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, Dr. Mark Barone, Veronica Frajzyngier

“Social Immersion Strategy for Reintegration and Empowerment of Obstetric Fistula Survivors”
Moustapha Diallo, Dr. Yaya Kassé

Poster presentations:

  • “Network of Clinical Providers Improves Management of Obstetric Fistula Treatment Program” Dr. Adamu Isah
  • “Prevention and Treatment of Obstetric Fistula: Community Work Makes a Difference” – Dr. S. M. Shahidullah, Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel

Ninth Annual Global Health Mini University – October 9, 2009

“Networking to Improve Fistula Treatment in Nigeria
Evelyn Landry and Erin Mielke

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Past Fistula Care Plus Project and Partner Meetings

Consultative Meeting: Revitalizing the Partograph
November 15-16, 2011

Hosted by the Fistula Care Plus Project
New York, NY

Please click here to view the meeting report.

Meeting the Needs of Women with Fistula Deemed Incurable
September 19-20, 2011

Hosted by the Fistula Care Plus Project
Boston, MA

Please click here to view the meeting report.

Medical Monitoring Workshop
February 1-5, 2010

Hosted by the Fistula Care Plus project
Kampala, Uganda

Please click here to read a summary of the meeting.

Improving Maternal Health through Family Planning Integration with Fistula Care Plus
December 7-8, 2009

Hosted by the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Medical Association in collaboration with the Fistula Care Plus Project
Kigali, Rwanda

Please click here to read a summary of the meeting.

Accra Partners’ Meeting

With support from USAID, the AWARE-RH, ACQUIRE and Fistula Care Plus projects—all managed by EngenderHealth—brought together their partners for a meeting in Accra, Ghana, from April 15-17, 2008. The meeting provided a forum for USAID-supported fistula providers to come together and discuss their needs, challenges, remaining gaps, and successes in fistula repair and care. Please click here for meeting materials.

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