The Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice is a private foundation based in California. The foundation supports a number of grantees in the areas of education, youth development, healthcare, and human services.
Since 2010, the Irmas Foundation for Social Justice has provided generous program support for Amref Health Africa’s Surgical Outreach activities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.
Project in Focus – Obstetric Fistula (OF) Surgical Outreach
Before her fistula was repaired at an Amref Health Africa surgical camp at Kenyatta National Hospital, Martha lived with the condition for 13 years. After the surgery, Martha shared her excitement of being able to visit her friends again and perhaps start her own small business.
Each year between 50,000 to 100,000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal. The development of a fistula is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortality: obstructed labor. Fistula leads to a constant leak of urine and feces, causing emotional devastation, family disintegration and social stigma for the affected women. Yet this condition is completely repairable with simple surgery – enabling women to regain their dignity and their life within the community.
Amref Health Africa provides surgical repair of fistula to women in the most underserved rural communities free of charge. Women in remote areas living with this condition report that the cost and logistics of travel is a significant barrier to accessing health services. We also train local healthcare providers working in these rural communities to provide the surgery themselves, in addition to training them in Essential Obstetric Care, Emergency Obstetric Care, Antenatal Care, and Family Planning, all of which are crucial to preventing pregnancy and delivery complications including fistula. Read more about our Surgical Outreach Program.