How our partnership with a pioneering force in maternal health began
Gender equality and social justice advocate Alice Emasu Seruyange co-founds The Association for Rehabilitation and Re-orientation of Women for Development (TERREWODE), a grassroots organization that breaks the silence that surrounds obstetric fistula in Uganda.
Construction crews break ground on new hospital, with hundreds of community members cheering on — fistula survivors, their families, community leaders, members of Parliament, Terrewode Women’s Fund and other supporting organizations.
Bonnie Ruder and Sharon Howe co-found Uganda Fistula Fund for TERREWODE (later renamed Terrewode Women’s Fund) to partner with TERREWODE and bring high-quality, holistic fistula treatment to Uganda.
Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital opens, the first hospital of its kind in Uganda, with a 30-bed surgical unit and Reintegration Center enough to care for 600 women per year.
TERREWODE develops a groundbreaking holistic model for reintegration — the first of its kind to provide the comprehensive care women need to restart their lives after fistula, including counseling, education, and economic empowerment.
Bonnie Ruder travels to Uganda to conduct research with TERREWODE. Frustrated by the inconsistent availability and quality of treatment in the chronically under-resourced government hospitals, Alice Emasu has a vision for a better model of care. She and Bonnie begin to develop a plan for building TERREWODE’s own hospital.
Capital campaign for the hospital begins. Terrewode Women’s Fund plays a leading role in purchasing the 6-acre plot of land in Soroti, Uganda, where the hospital exists today and in helping raise the $1.6 million for the hospital’s construction.
TERREWODE launches new services to address pandemic-related needs: 24/7 ambulance service to transport women in labor and phone counseling for fistula survivors experiencing domestic violence amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital is fully functioning, providing world-class surgical treatment for obstetric fistula and childbirth injuries. It is the new gold-standard in holistic, patient-centered fistula treatment. Plans are underway to develop a Maternity Center of Excellence to prevent fistula.