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The ICS Fistula Committee was officially launched in October 2009 with the support of the Trustees and Executive Committee. Interim Chair Sherif Mourad from Cairo, who has extensive practical experience in this field, believes that the ICS can play an important international role in tackling the devastating problem of obstetric fistula in the developed world.

The committee’s strategy will be focused on the following key areas:
Strategic & Zoning Planning
Communications & Funding
Treatment & Training
Awareness & Promotion
Follow-up and Evaluation

The committee plans to stimulate prevention, awareness, research and education, to organise training workshops, to raise funds and to foster collaboration with other organisations working in this field in order to achieve these objectives.

It is planned to set up 9 sub-committees based on the following world zones:
Zone 1: East North Africa
Zone 2: Central Africa
Zone 3: Southern Africa
Zone 4: West Africa
Zone 5: India
Zone 6: China
Zone 7: Bangladesh
Zone 8: EU/Russia
Zone 9: Latin America

As part of its awareness campaign, the new committee has already compiled a first ICS leaflet on Obstetric Fistula that was distributed at the ICS 2009 annual meeting.

First ICS sponsored Surgical Workshop will be held in Cairo in January
At its committee meeting held in San Francisco, plans were finalised for the first ICS sponsored Workshop for Surgical Repair of Vaginal Fistula to be held at the Ain Shams University Specialised Hospital in Cairo, 14-15 January 2010. The Workshop will be organised by the ICS Education and Fistula Committees in collaboration with the African Fistula & Continence Society (AFFCS). The number of participants will be limited to 10 to ensure real hands-on training.

ICS represented at UNFPA supported International Obstetric Fistula Workshop
Dirk de Ridder and Sherif Mourad attended the International Obstetric Fistula Workshop supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 31 August – 2 September 2009 in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. Items discussed included Policy & Advocacy, Prevention, Treatment, Reintegration of cured fistula patients into their own society, Data, indicators and research and Capacity Development. Dirk de Ridder participated in the working session on data, indicators and research, while Sherif Mourad took part in the working session on treatment and training. Participation in this International Obstetric Fistula Workshop has resulted in a number of avenues that can be explored for ICS initiatives.

Jane Meijlink, Sherif Mourad

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