CGHSR Film Chosen as Official Selection at World Health Organization Film Festival

Photo provided by Dearbhla Glynn

The World Health Organization has chosen a film funded and produced by the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility as an official selection for the Health For All Film Festival.

Fistula: A Film to Promote Better Maternal Health Care Globally is one of 61 films shortlisted for the festival out of more than 900 submissions. The documentary short was directed by Dearbhla Glynn and CGHSR Director of Global Women’s Health Rahel Nardos, MD, MCR, served as an executive producer.

An international jury, including Sharon Stone, other notable filmmakers, and humanitarian activists, will recommend films from the official selections to determine the award winners in their respective categories. Fistula is a nominee in the Universal Health Coverage category.

CGHSR’s film documents the journey of two rural Ugandan women who suffered from obstetric fistula, a devastating condition that creates a hole in the rectum or bladder and causes incontinence. Obstetric fistula is caused by prolonged labor and inadequate access to maternal health care.

The film showcases the toll the condition takes on women — including social ostracization in addition to physical and emotional trauma — but also displays how effective health care can transform the lives of those who live with fistula. The film’s subjects both receive care for the condition and make a full recovery.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than two million women suffer from obstetric fistula.

“In this day and age, no woman should suffer or die from lack of basic access to safe and timely obstetric care,” said Nardos.

CGHSR’s Global Women’s Health Initiative works with global partners to advance adequate health care for women and girls around the world.

The Initiative’s current projects include developing an affordable surgical tool for repairing pelvic floor prolapses; creating simulation-based training for safe c-section operations; and facilitating capacity-building activities for OBGYNs in low-income countries. 


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