Obstetric Fibula Gets Attention in “A Walk to Beautiful”

Obstetric fibula is a tragic disease that claims the lives of many women, but what makes it worse is that it is totally preventable. An award-winning film called “A Walk to Beautiful” sheds light on the obstetric fibula, following the lives of five women in Ethiopia. While the film may not have gotten a large viewing as a full-length documentary, it is now getting new exposure in a shortened version being shown as part of the PBS network’s “Nova” series.

Obstetric fistula occurs when a hole in the birth canal is caused by prolonged labor (which can sometimes last several days). The World Health Organization has called fistula “the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth,” and says that there are more than 2 million women living with fistula worldwide. Many of these cases are due to inadequate obstetric care, the film’s Web site says.

You can find out more about obstetric fistula in a United Nations document and at the Web sites of the Fistula Foundation and End Fistula.

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