International Women’s Day 2016

The 8th March is International Women’s Day. First recognised in 1906, this global day celebrates the achievements of women and calls for action to accelerate gender parity. Despite many advances for women, progress has slowed in many places across the world and The World Economic Forum estimates at current rates gender parity will not be achieved until 2133. According to the World Bank, gender equality enhances economic development, improves prospects for future generations and strengthens political and social systems.



What does this have to do with Inter Care? As a charity providing medical aid to around 130 health units in sub-Saharan Africa, serving a collective population of around 10 million of which the majority are women, we are acutely aware of the challenges faced by poor women in Africa when it comes to accessing heath care.

Women constitute nearly 67% of the total population of Africa and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), bear an unacceptably huge burden of disease and death, “women living in the African Region face a daunting range of threats to their health throughout their lives”.  For example, African women have a 1 in 42 risk of dying prematurely in childbirth compared with the 1 in 2,900 risk in Europe, while of all adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, 61% are women.  “Protecting and promoting the health of women is crucial to health and development, not only for the health of today’s citizens, but also for the health of future generations”. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO.

One of the health units supported by Inter Care, The Fistula Care Centre (FCC) in Malawi, is at the forefront of improving women’s health in Africa.

For a video from The Fistula Centre – Click Here

An estimated 2 million women and girls in Africa and Asia are suffering from obstetric fistula, yet fewer than 20,000 are treated each year. Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury and most commonly occurs among women who live in poor countries and who give birth without access to medical help. Obstetric fistula is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment. Women with the condition suffer constant incontinence, shame, social segregation and health problems, with many being deserted by their husbands and cut off from family and friends.

This condition still exists in many developing countries because heath care systems fail to provide accessible, quality maternal heath care, including family planning, skilled care at birth, basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, and affordable treatment of fistula. Patients with uncomplicated fistula can undergo simple surgery to repair the hole in their bladder or rectum. Approximately 80-95% of vaginal fistula can be rectified surgically.

In 2015, Inter Care sent 100 of re-usable sanitary pads to FCC, the first time they had ever had these “Afripads”. 

What You Can Do

 Make a donation

By making a donation you will be helping us provide more African women and their children with vital healthcare.

£10  could pay for 5 packs of reusable sanitary pads to be sent to the Fistula Centre

£25 could pay for 3,000 tablets of Paracetamol to be sent to a labour ward

£50 could pay for a box of toys to be sent to a maternity/children’s ward

Organising an event

Each year thousands of events occur around the world celebrating International Women’s Day – fun runs, coffee mornings, concerts, key speaker events and more, organised by a range of groups and individuals.

Why not join us in celebrating this global day whilst raising vital funds to help improve the health of women.  Please contact us for suggestions and advice to help you with your fundraising plans.