It is estimated that there are about 3,000 new cases of obstetric fistula a year in Tanzania, and only about 800 women a year who manage to get help and surgery for what is often a severe physical and social disability.
These figures were reported at the beginning of an educational campaign to inform women that their condition, which often leads to ostracism from their families and communities, can be cured.
The campaign is called Become a Hero for Women with Fistula and identifies three problems. The first is the cost of surgery to treat the condition, the second is the cost of accommodation during treatment, which can take up to six weeks, and a third is the cost of getting to a hospital that can perform the surgery.
Obstetric fistulas are openings between the bladder and the vagina or the rectum and the vagina though which urine or stools leak continuously. They are caused during cases of obstructed or failed childbirth when the pressure of the baby