Gillian Slinger, a British-trained nurse and midwife with a BSc Degree in Health Management and an MSc Degree in Public Health, recently joined UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to coordinate the global Campaign to End Fistula.
Photo: Brian Hancock, FRCS, founder Uganda Childbirth Injury Fund, 2010.
Before joining UNFPA, Ms. Slinger worked as Reproductive Health Advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland, based in Geneva, for the last three years. As part of her duties at MSF, she was actively involved in implementing fistula activities and giving technical support to fistula projects, and developing a substantial network of contacts with key training institutions, experts and organizations.
She has also undertaken regular field trips to support MSF projects in Somalia, Sudan, Guinea and Guatemala among other countries, as well as teaching for MSF and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England.
In the 1990s, Ms. Slinger worked as a midwife for ten years in the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, and, since then, as a midwife with MSF and Save the Children in Mali, Sierra Leone, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As a midwife, Ms. Slinger has always been deeply moved by the many obstetric fistula cases she has cared for in the field. Since starting her MSF post in Geneva in 2007, her involvement in fistula work has increased enormously, fueling her commitment to address global maternal death and disability.