In 2003, UNFPA and partners launched a global campaign to end fistula with the goal of making obstetric fistula as rare in developing countries as it is in the industrialised world. The target date for fistula elimination is 2015, and the campaign is now working in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and the Arab region.
In 2005, Johnson & Johnson donated all of the sutures for the “Fistula Fortnight,” a two-week fistula treatment and training project in northern Nigeria spearheaded by UNFPA. The partnership has since grown to include a three-year project that aims to expand capacity for fistula prevention and treatment, stimulate access to these services, and enhance quality of care in Eritrea.
Since early 2005, Virgin Unite — the charitable arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group — has contributed to a number of campaign projects in Nigeria, including the “Fistula Fortnight” and a press trip with spokesperson Natalie Imbruglia. Through recent benefit events in London, Virgin Unite has raised more than $1.1 million for a fistula prevention and treatment project in Nigeria.