· 3 min read

Success of Operation Fistula's Kickstart pilot program

After a long break, back to a MakeoverMonday #Viz5 challenge to visualize the impact of performance-based funding by OpFistula on surgically curing fistulas. Fistula is a preventable and surgically remediable injury that occurs during prolonged labour without medical intervention in resource-poor countries. Not only does the woman lose her baby, she is also left with damage to the vaginal wall that makes her incontinent, leaking urine and/or faeces for life. The data is from the Viz5 DataSet #10 that provides information on their pilot Kickstart program, that ran from 2012-2015 to offer surgical treatment to women in 5 participating African countries. This is my second attempt at #Viz5 - a powerful effort to Visualize Gender Equality and help realize UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The dataset provides anonymized information by participating surgeons on clinical outcomes of surgeries performed along with symptom details and the number of years the patient was suffering prior to the surgery.

Since there were just 5 countries in the dataset, I decided not to retain the geographical context and instead focus on the improved patient outcome post-surgery across the participating countries. This is my first time making a waffle chart, using it to highlight the percentage of women who recovered and regained complete continence across all age groups (dark circles). The bars below each country depict the total number of healthy years gained post surgery by women in the participating country, averaging 12.9 years per cured patient.

This tutorial by Andy Kriebel is a great resource for learning how to make a waffle chart. The dark circles represent cured patients that regained full continence, averaging a success rate of ~88%, while the lighter shade indicates partial or unsuccesful surgeries. Since I also wanted to show countries that did not have data on some age groups (NA), I added three options to color the circles of the waffle using an IF statement, rather than just the boolean True/False in the tutorial.

The viz does not represent some of the other aspects of the survey such as number of years lost by women prior to the surgery and their individual symptoms. A humbling learning exercise thinking of the surgeons, donors and the OpFistula team that makes it possible for these women to regain a healthy and dignified life.

A final note - as I described in my earlier post, the MakeOver Monday viz review is a goldmine of quick tips and learning. Here’s where I have assigned proper data source and design credits to my viz thanks to the discussion. Am also continuing with my logo in the dashboard, courtesy tutorials by KATE STRACHNYI.