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Too many African births end in death
Many births in Africa end in avoidable death or lifelong injuries.
This is the opinion of Dr Steve Arrowsmith, who has dedicated the last 25 years of his life to addressing the fistula problem on the continent.
He said that remedying the issue would require a change of attitudes towards gender, as well as better healthcare provision.
Speaking to the Guardian, he said: "Prevention and treatment are partnered and people in both areas must work together."
Dr Arrowsmith explained that the vast majority of fistula patients are married at a young age and become pregnant before their bodies can adequately cope with the rigours of childbirth.
While surgery to repair fistula is simple, many women in Africa who give birth domestically do not have access to surgeons who can perform the operation.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Posted by David Smith
World Congress 2015