A waiting room at our partner hospital in Tanzania. Patients sit on a three-seated bench. The middle seat is marked with a sign:

Social distancing in the waiting room at our partner hospital in Tanzania. 

May 14, 2020

Dear Friend

As another week of social distancing ends in the United States, our team at Fistula Foundation are in close contact with our partners on the ground in Africa and Asia. I remain troubled by what we are hearing about growing infections and how the lockdowns are harming already economically fragile communities. 

Against this backdrop, I am so very grateful for you and our generous community of supporters. Thanks to people like you, we met the $125,000 matching goal for our Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund! 

But, we’re not nearly done and I hope you’ll consider giving if you haven’t already. We have another match, this time for $25,000, meaning every dollar you give will effectively be doubled!

This week, I’m also honored that the charity sector’s biggest watchdog, Charity Navigator, recommended us to donors who want to help fight Covid-19. You can see the list in its entirety via this link.

I hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.


Kate Grant signature

Kate Grant
Fistula Foundation


Fistula Foundation Named Top Covid-19 Charity!

We are honored to be included in Charity Navigator's list of highly-rated nonprofits providing relief and recovery to communities impacted by the pandemic. Click here to see the full list. 

Charity Navigator logo: Top Covid 19 Nonprofits

News of Interest

I wanted you to see this troubling report from Tanzania, where the government has claimed that the public health crisis is being exaggerated—and stopped publishing Covid-19 case numbers. This is one example of why our partners remain vigilant despite low reports of infection rates in Africa, and fear that the worst may still be to come. You can read the BBC’s full report here.

BBC logo

Coronavirus: Tanzania Hospitals Overwhelmed

I also wanted to share this Fresh Air interview with John Barry, the author of the 2004 book The Great Influenza. In conversation with Terry Gross, Barry compares the current Covid-19 pandemic with the flu of 1918. He discusses the mistakes and successes that were relevant a century ago, and what they can teach us in our current crisis. You can listen to the interview here.

What the 1918 Flu Pandemic Can Tell Us About the Covid-19 Crisis

NPR logo

And lastly, I found this blog post from immunologist Dr. Erin Bromage to be both insightful and sobering. It outlines the risk of infection for various activities and environments, including restaurants and workplaces. Dr. Bromage also provides some helpful considerations for safely venturing into public spaces after shelter in place orders are lifted. How many people are present? What is the airflow like in the room? The full blog post is available here

A chart of infections in a call center in South Korea. Credit CDC via Dr. Erin Bromage

Image Credit CDC via Dr. Erin Bromage

We believe that no woman should endure a life of isolation and misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world, which is why we are dedicated to ending the suffering caused by obstetric fistula. We're working with local partners in more than 20 countries, funding more fistula repair surgeries worldwide than any other organization. Based in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, Fistula Foundation is honored to have received 14 consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator; only 1 percent of charities have received this designation.

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