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Excellence in Creating Value Beyond the Product

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Action on Fistula

by Astellas Pharma EMEA
with support from Forster Communications

Summary of work

Action on Fistula is a six-year programme (from 2014-2020) set up by the Fistula Foundation and supported by a €2.25 million grant by Astellas Pharma Europe Limited to transform the lives of 4,500 women in Kenya with obstetric fistula. It is doing this by training fistula surgeons, increasing access to surgeries and running an extensive outreach programme to reach and identify women for treatment.

Astellas is focused on addressing unmet health needs which is supported by a wide programme of access to medicine initiatives. Action on Fistula is a flagship programme of Access Accelerated, a multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on improving non-communicable disease care.

Since launch, Action on Fistula has been an unprecedented success, providing 2,658 women with life-changing surgery - surpassing its target for phase one by 121% - and doubling the number of trained fistula surgeons. It has also set up a treatment network to extend access to services, with six treatment centres enrolled and providing fistula surgeries, and runs a successful outreach programme.

Now in phase two, Action on Fistula continues to use its capacity-building approach to change the treatment landscape in Kenya in enduring ways, ensuring its legacy will continue well beyond 2020.

Judges' comments

The team truly worked beyond the product with this project, which was inspiring to see. They not only drove to find the need and then effectively addressed it, but they’re also delivering real, life-changing outcomes for a worthy cause. This really is a great programme and Astellas and Forster Communications should be rewarded for their efforts.


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