Protect Your Sister Project has created a replicable set of “Fistula Sister” dolls and other tools that transcend language and culture and educate people about the devastating and preventable condition of Obstetric Fistula.
Fistula Sister dolls are culturally appropriate, anatomically simplified dolls that show normal and obstructed labor. They are created with love and designed to resemble young and older child-bearing-aged women with local dress, hairstyles and fabrics, wherever possible.
While Fistula Sister dolls were originally created in the United States, Protect Your Sister Project continues to seek and develop partnerships globally so that the dolls can be sewn, distributed and provide income generation for women around the world.
Another educational tool is a wooden replica of a pelvis that demonstrates that it is the bony structure of the mother’s pelvis that prevents the baby’s head from fitting through, and not soft tissue, which is a common misbelief. This important distinction can help prevent tremendous suffering since a regular practice of traditional birth attendants is to cut away the soft tissue of the mother in an attempt to hasten delivery. No amount of such cutting will provide success, so the pelvis model is a critical component to avoid potential harm.
If the baby’s head is larger than the mother’s bony pelvis, often the case if the mother is young, malnourished or not fully developed, the only means to deliver a live baby is by Cesarean Section. The wooden model of a pelvis clearly shows how obstructed labor and Obstetric Fistula occurs and how they can be treated.
Fistula Sister dolls and model pelvises are in great demand by doctors and health care workers who travel to remote regions and need tangible tools to help explain the causes of Obstetric Fistula.
If you’re interested in supporting a sewing cooperative or if you’re a medical professional who needs these resources, please click here for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org