Dr. Saad Idris is a passionate fistula surgeon from Zamfara State, Nigeria. He got his start in fistula surgery when a grassroots women’s organization in Sokoto successfully advocated for doctors to be sent for training in fistula repair. After experience in several northern Nigerian states and postgraduate work in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Dr. Saad returned to Zamfara to direct the Faridat Yakubu General Hospital. Both the former First Lady and the current Commissioner of Women’s Affairs in Zamfara State are committed and powerful advocates for fistula.
Dr. Saad has worked as a fistula surgeon as well as a trainer for other doctors who are interested in learning fistula repair skills. The Fistula Care Project sponsored Dr. Saad to gain advanced surgical experience on board the Africa Mercy hospital ship docked in Benin. The experience allowed Dr. Saad to experience a new setting and to hone his skills as a trainer. A fellow surgeon commented that Dr. Saad’s “level of compassion for the patients is admirable, his surgical skills consummate, and his commitment to the cause of fistula care is unquestioned.”
Dr. Saad was promoted to the administrative post of Commissioner of Health for the State of Zamfara. While this position offered Dr. Saad the possibility to be a powerful advocate for the fistula issue in his state and more broadly, its responsibilities limited his availability as a fistula surgeon. Today, Dr. Saad has completed his tenure as Commissioner. His passion for fistula repair continues, and Dr. Saad participates in pooled efforts for fistula repair that are organized by EngenderHealth to help reduce the backlog of cases at fistula repair facilities across the country.