Global Impact

A New Hope is Born

Treatment for women suffering from fistula is far from a given. For every one who receives treatment, 50 go without.

Ingrid Marzuola, a student in the UNC School of Nursing, sits outside of Carrington Hall on July 11, 2017, in Chapel Hill. Marzuola traveled to Mali as a Global Health Scholar to continue her studies on the effects of fistula, a serious injury resulting from prolonged obstructed labor, and to assist with IntraHealth International's campaign to prevent and treat the condition. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Treatment for women suffering from fistula is far from a given. For every one who receives treatment, 50 go without.

Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury most common in underdeveloped countries where women give birth without medical assistance. Caused by prolonged or obstructed labor, fistula plagues the mother with excruciating pain and incontinence, often resulting in shame and social isolation. Treatment for women suffering from fistula is far from a given. For every one who receives treatment, 50 go without.

While studying in the accelerated BSN program at Carolina, Ingrid Marzuola received funding through the Cronenwett Global Health Scholars endowment — a fund honoring Dean Emerita Linda Cronenwett and supporting student academic and clinical experiences abroad — to work to change this unfortunate reality. She traveled to Mali to work with IntraHealth International’s third End Shame: Restore Dignity campaign to repair the effects of fistula and help women regain their lives.

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