Johnson & Johnson: Fostering Innovative Partnerships to Prevent and Treat Obstetric Fistula

Nisa PatelArticle, News

Winner of the 2016 Business Action on Health Award: Women & Girls


For more than 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has been working with partners to support and expand programs to prevent and treat obstetric fistula, a traumatic childbirth injury caused by prolonged, obstructed labor.

70% of the more than 2 million cases worldwide remain untreated. Women suffering from the condition are frequently forced from their homes, ostracized by their communities and robbed of economic opportunities that enable them to support themselves and afford the care they so desperately need.

Johnson & Johnson has taken a holistic approach to fistula care, working with trusted partners including UNFPA, Mercy Ships, the Fistula Foundation, FIGO and Kupona to prevent fistula, as well as treat and care for those who suffer. In addition to donating surgical supplies, Johnson & Johnson focuses on training health workers, thereby increasing vulnerable women’s access to skilled care at birth, as well as their ability to access safe surgery. The Company also supports women as they rehabilitate following surgery, providing counseling and training to build skills as they reintegrate into their communities.

This model has proven to be tremendously impactful. One example of this can be seen in the results of a survey of former fistula patients at a partner hospital in Tanzania, which provides this holistic package of services. It showed that 97% of women feel more accepted and supported by their community compared with before fistula surgery, and 62% of women are able to provide more financial support to themselves and their families compared to before fistula surgery.

Read the case study.

Nisa PatelJohnson & Johnson: Fostering Innovative Partnerships to Prevent and Treat Obstetric Fistula