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Global Community Must Address Child Marriage, FGM, Early Pregnancy To Prevent Obstetric Fistula

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Obstetric fistula; a silent death for millions of women and girls
Jenny Vaughan, senior campaigns and advocacy officer at FORWARD

“…Fistula affects mostly those left behind, often those whose lives are affected by multiple factors; social norms that promote child marriage, FGM, and the condoning of domestic violence result in a lack of choices and early and multiple pregnancies. If we are to address obstetric fistula we must continue to make these links and understand the factors that cause fistula. … We must, as a global community, do more. Fistula is treatable; we must enable girls and women who are living with fistula now to access the treatment they need and provide holistic support for them to re-integrate into their communities. But most importantly fistula is preventable. Ending harmful traditional practices like FGM and child marriage would significantly decrease the likelihood of girls becoming child mothers and developing fistula due to early and repeated pregnancy. FORWARD … will continue to push for the links between these issues to be recognized and understood, [and] we call on global leaders to join us” (5/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.