FIGO announces the launch of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Manual and Fistula Resource Hub

FIGO’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) and Project Team for the Fistula Surgery Training Initiative published an innovative new open-access Fistula Surgery Training Manual in late 2022. The manual is hosted on the FIGO Fistula Resource Hub alongside various invaluable resources and learning materials for the Training Initiative as well as the wider fistula community.

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Since 2012, in order to reduce the global treatment gap, the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative has been building the capacities of local trainee fistula surgeons – ‘FIGO Fellows’ – and multidisciplinary care teams to provide treatment for women suffering from obstetric fistula in some of the world’s most underserved communities.

To ensure that comprehensive high-quality resources containing the latest techniques underpin training in fistula surgery and care, the EAG and the FIGO project team have incorporated groundbreaking new components in the manual and its accompanying materials.

Developed by leading fistula surgeons and experts in the field, the new FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Manual and Fistula Resource Hub provide the latest state-of-the-art materials to enhance training and learning for fistula surgeons and holistic care teams worldwide. We hope that this will support them in continuing to do remarkable work, often in very challenging settings, to help women with obstetric fistula.

– Gillian Slinger, Head of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative, Technical Specialist Obstetric Fistula

Highlights of FIGO’s Fistula Surgery Training Manual

FIGO’s Fistula Surgery Training Manual covers the full spectrum of obstetric fistula care, divided by ascending levels of surgical competency for trainees. The manual provides detailed descriptions of different fistula surgeries and associated procedures across 16 modules.

The manual incorporates practical resources to support the training and development of fistula surgeons, including:

  • tailored Performance-Based Assessments (PBAs) in the 16 modules, corresponding to each specific procedure and greatly facilitating evaluation of trainee skills and progress
  • removable A3 wallchart to assess outcomes following vesicovaginal fistula surgery
  • 76 medical illustrations to support teaching, starting with a graphic depiction of the multiple maternal and foetal sequelae of prolonged obstructed labour, and in each of the modules portraying key surgical steps.

The manual is currently available in English, with French and Portuguese versions to follow from mid-2023.

Key features of the FIGO Fistula Resource Hub

The FIGO Fistula Resource Hub was launched alongside the manual to host various resources and materials of interest to the fistula community.

The last 20 years have seen an enormous global effort in treating and preventing obstetric fistula. Central to this is training health care professionals to care for women with these injuries.

FIGO has been leading the way with practical training programmes and developing resources to complement trainees’ hands-on training. The Fistula Resource Hub contains the finest training materials for obstetric fistula anywhere and is essential for anyone embarking on fistula care.

– Andrew Browning, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative

The following materials are all available online:

  • FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Manual, with separate standalone pages of all medical illustrations, flow charts and module logbooks from the Manual, all of which can be downloaded and printed off to promote teaching and learning
  • Recordings of online training sessions delivered by FIGO Trainer/Expert Fistula Surgeons
  • surgical training videos
  • latest books and publications on fistula surgery and care
  • recommended surgical equipment, i.e. the FIGO Specification Fistula Instrument Set
  • Advocacy materials to observe the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

See here for the Fistula Surgery Training Manual (2022) and the Fistula Resource Hub.