A nurse, preparing for the intricate procedure of fistula surgery, readies the Galaxy II Snowman retractor provided by JUNE MEDICAL

Obstetric fistula, a severe and debilitating condition that affects millions of women in under-resourced settings – predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – is a challenge that calls for concerted, global action. The condition occurs due to prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely and appropriate medical care, resulting in a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum. This leads to continuous, uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or faeces, bringing about chronic infections, foul odour, and skin irritation.

These women, often abandoned and isolated due to their offensive smell and inability to bear children, are left grappling with physical discomfort and the emotional trauma of social stigma, depression, anxiety, and a diminished quality of life.

Surgeons: Delivering a Ray of Hope

In the face of such daunting adversity, surgeons and medical professionals worldwide are stepping up, armed with their skills, knowledge, and innovative tools to bring about a significant change. A primary surgical intervention for fistula repair is obstetric fistula repair surgery, where the surgeon identifies and seals the fistula, restoring the function of the affected organs.

However, this battle against obstetric fistula cannot be won through surgical intervention alone. It necessitates a comprehensive care approach, encompassing preoperative and postoperative care, psychosocial support, and community awareness programs. This is where collaborative efforts between surgeons, skilled midwives, nurses, and counsellors become imperative for holistic care.

JUNE MEDICAL’s Charitable Initiative

JUNE MEDICAL, under the guidance of Founder and Owner Angela Spang, has been actively contributing to this global fight against obstetric fistula. By donating Galaxy II retractors, a critical tool used by surgeons to hold incisions open during surgical procedures, JUNE MEDICAL is helping enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of these lifesaving operations.

In regions where access to such high-quality surgical equipment is limited, this gesture goes a long way. Improved visibility and better access to surgical sites enabled by the Galaxy II retractors allow surgeons to work with greater precision, reduce surgical time, and decrease potential complications. Consequently, this leads to a larger number of patients treated within a given timeframe, significantly improving overall patient outcomes.

One such surgeon benefitting from this initiative is Consultant Urologist Tariq Tassadaq. Tassadaq’s work at a hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, partially funded by the UK’s Freedom From Fistula charity, involves treating unfortunate women from various parts of Africa. Grateful for the Galaxy II retractors provided by JUNE MEDICAL, Tassadaq affirms their utility in procedures, including vesico-vaginal fistula repairs.

Reflecting on the initiative, the president of JUNE MEDICAL shared, “As a company, we’re in a unique position to help. While we aren’t on the frontlines performing these complex surgeries, we’re honoured to be able to assist those who are. Providing them with our Galaxy II retractors means they can operate more effectively.”

The sentiment that drives this initiative runs deep. The condition of obstetric fistula, with its profound physical and emotional impacts, has touched the hearts of everyone at JUNE MEDICAL. “Seeing the suffering that these women endure puts our efforts into perspective. We’re not just donating medical tools; we’re giving hope.”

By donating Galaxy II retractors, JUNE MEDICAL does more than simply address a logistical need. They’re helping to catalyse change, empowering surgeons to provide better care, and offering the women they treat a path towards a better life. “Knowing we’re making a difference, however small, in these women’s lives motivates us to continue supporting this cause.”

Through their contributions, JUNE MEDICAL continues to help equip medical professionals in underserved areas, enabling them to provide critical medical interventions to those in need. Their efforts remind us of our collective responsibility toward eradicating obstetric fistula and improving the lives of women affected by this devastating condition.