6 April 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters

It is with a heavy heart we announce that Freedom From Fistula has now suspended all fistula surgeries and non-critical services in Africa, due to the ongoing and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. 

All three countries we serve – Madagascar, Malawi and Sierra Leone - have confirmed cases and so our priority is to protect our staff, patients and the wider communities we serve.

This means our fistula projects in Malawi and Madagascar, as well as our fistula unit within the Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) in Sierra Leone, have suspended service until further notice.

Please be assured our hotlines will continue to take calls from potential patients in order to schedule them for surgery at a later date and we continue to communicate with partner organizations in each country for future referrals of patients.

We also continue to provide financial support to our maternity partners in Malawi who continue to provide essential services to the women and girls in their communities.

In Sierra Leone, we are reallocating resources to ensure our Maternity Unit and Outpatient Children’s Clinic remain open to provide essential maternal and child healthcare services – and we plan to continue these services for as long as it is safe to do so and in line with government guidance.  We will also continue to help child rape victims where possible. 

We have introduced screening of all patients and staff outside our gates and implemented strict Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures and increased spacing within the AWC.

Non-critical services, such as outreach services, the Dream Girls program and Hostel are suspended until further notice. 

All the decisions we have taken have been extremely difficult for us as an organization but we believe they are critical at this time for the safety of our staff and patients.

We thank you for your continued support of Freedom From Fistula during this difficult time and ask you keep our staff and patients in your thoughts and prayers.

Stay safe and take care.

Lois Boyle

Director of Operations and Communications