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         Fistula Training Initiative
                  Winter Edition

Dear FIGO Friends,

Welcome to the Winter version of the Newsletter! In this edition, we're happy to share news about:

-FIGO 2015-

FIGO's triennial Congress took place in Vancouver in early October and attracted around 6,300 delegates from over 140 countries. With 6 dedicated sessions and numerous presentations, obstetric fistula was one of the priorities on the congress' agenda. Highlights included the FIGO Expert Panel, the Fistula Forum, and the Video Training session by Pete Melchert.  
On behalf of FIGO, we would like to thank all the speakers for their contributions, as well as everyone who attended the fistula sessions! 
FIGO Trainers Dr Vindhya and Dr Fekade with 2 Fellows from Nigeria and Nepal during the Expert Panel chaired by Dr Sohier Elneil. 
Full house at the Fistula Forum, where dedicated FIGO partners presented and discussed their work and plans. 

-Recent Fellows & the Training Initiative 2015-

In the last quarter of 2015, fellows from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Tanzania and Rwanda have been undergoing fistula surgery training in FIGO Accredited Training Centres e.g. Hamlin, Ethiopia;  UCH, Ibadan, Nigeria; CCBRT, Tanzania. 

This year, with phenomenal support from the Training Centres, fistula surgery training has been provided for 29 new Fellows from multiple countries across the world, resulting in a total of 47 Fellows currently participating in the Training Initiative 2012 - 2015.

We would like to sincerely thank the Training Centre teams for their outstanding work and ongoing commitment, and take this opportunity to wish all Fellows, Trainers and Training Centre staff a very happy, healthy and productive 2016!

For some of the most recent training photos, please see below:
Dr Fekade (right) with two Rwandan Fellows in Addis Ababa.
FIGO's first Fellow from Afghanistan in theatre with the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia team.
Nigerian Fellows working hand-in-hand in UCH, Ibadan. 
Prof. Dosu (left) with recent Fellows and the team in UCH, Ibadan.
The Training Initiative's first Chadian Fellow during his training in CCBRT, Tanzania.
Dr Kabiru (second from left) with post-op patients and a Nigerian Fellow in Ningi, Nigeria
FIGO's journal offers free access until 15 January 2016! It currently lists over 150 articles relating to obstetric fistula. In order to claim your free access- follow the instructions below:
  1.  Upper right hand corner of homepage,        Click on: "Register as Guest”
  2.  Once registered, Click on “Claim Subscription”
  3.  Enter Account/Activation code: IJGO-8026
  4.  In Last Name box enter: ONLINE

The Map, a collaboration between Direct Relief, UNFPA and the Fistula Foundation, shows current knowledge about fistula treatment facilities across the world. Initiated in 2010, data submitted to the Map currently represents a total of 60,280 surgeries performed at 267 facilities, across 45 countries. 15,175 of these surgeries occurred in the most recent complete survey year of 2013. In 2014, Direct Relief also began reviewing the academic literature on fistula prevalence and surgical outcomes, and geo-coded the information, at either the facility, region or country level. This research base is now searchable and accessible through the Map. The Map has also been presented in ISOFS conferences (International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons), mentioned as a key resource by UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-Moon, and has been written about twice in The Lancet as a contribution to efforts to end obstetric fistula.  While updates to the Map occur continuously, in the first half of 2016, the Map will undergo its fifth complete update.

If at any point you would like to submit information, you can contribute directly through the CONTACT US tab at the bottom of the Map webpage to ensure that your fistula treatment facility and activities are included.
Coming in January: Preview of the new Fistula Surgeon Virtual Community

In partnership with FIGO and Johnson & Johnson, Fistula Foundation is happy to announce the launch of a new online community developed specifically for fistula surgeons. This website has been designed to provide a dynamic library of fistula resources and training materials that all participating surgeons can add to, as well as a place for all surgeons to come together to ask questions, share knowledge and get to know one another better online in the hope they will be able to identify offline opportunities to connect and share talents and skills with one another in person.
While participation in the virtual community will be limited to fistula surgeons, in order to give everyone who is interested an opportunity to see what has been built, and a chance to share useful content, any interested parties – surgeons and non-surgeons alike! – are invited to join Fistula Foundation Medical Director, Dr. Steven Arrowsmith, for a webinar “tour” of this new site on January 7 at 8am Pacific/11am Eastern/4pm GMT.

The FIGO Fistula Initiative is largely supported by Fistula Foundation, which has funded more than 14,000 surgeries across 30 countries since 2009.

We hope you've enjoyed the Winter edition of the Newsletter! As always, if you have any comments about the Newsletter or experience any problems receiving or accessing it, please do let us know, we’ll always be pleased to hear from you!
Wishing you happy end of year celebrations and all the best for 2016. 

Gillian & Lilli

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
FIGO House, Suite 3, Waterloo Court
10 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST