Journal Article

Removing barriers to fistula care: Applying appreciative inquiry to improve access to screening and treatment in Nigeria and Uganda

A research-to-action collaboration sought to understand and respond to barriers to female genital fistula treatment in Nigeria and Uganda. This was guided by appreciative inquiry, a participatory approach for transformative programing with four phases: (1) inquire, (2) imagine, (3) innovate, and (4) implement. Through this process, partners designed and refined a treatment barrier reduction intervention using multiple communication channels to disseminate a consistent fistula screening algorithm and provide transportation vouchers to those screening positive. Partnership between an implementation organization, a research institution, and local community partners enabled data-driven design and patient-centered implementation to address specific barriers experienced by women.