The island of Madagascar is home to some of the most diverse plant and animal life in the world. But its people face extreme poverty—three-quarters of the population live on less than $1.25 per day. And in a country of over 24 million people, there are not enough doctors or health facilities to sufficiently meet the needs for maternal health care.
In Madagascar, one in 60 women will die in childbirth during their lifetime. The fertility rate is high, and there is also a high rate of teenage pregnancy—more than one-third of girls ages 15-19 have had children or are currently pregnant. When these factors are combined with the prevalence of grinding poverty, it is likely that obstetric fistula is a serious issue in Madagascar.
In 2016 the Fistula Foundation partnered with Icon, a company that makes a line of 'pee-proof' panties made for women who suffer from light urinary incontinence @iconundies. Icon donate a percentage of each sale to Fistula Foundation and have earmarked their total 2017 donations to be used to fund SALFA’s work. Icon’s support will fund the clinical costs of 157 fistula surgeries in Madagascar this year.