helping fistula victims
Women suffering in silence
Obstetric fistula has been eradicated in developed countries, but still plagues many women across the world in under developed areas. Malnutrition and a lack of access to medical care often lead to births with severe complications. In fact, 9 out of 10 women deliver at home in northern Ethiopia where they are left alone, without hope, during difficult births. The resulting damage is often both physically and emotionally permanent.
Fistula victims have tears in their birth canal leaving them unable to control their urine or feces. The stench is so strong that they’re shunned by society, left to live in isolation as an outcast.
But, this doesn’t have to be, these women can be helped with the proper support.
Corrective surgery is available in the capital city to restore control of their bladder and bowls, eliminating the repulsive smell and reason for isolation. Most of all, this surgery is FREE for fistula victims!
Unfortunately though, these women don’t know that treatment is available. The majority of fistula victims are illiterate, unskilled, and poor. In addition to their physical challenges, they are emotionally scarred by the trauma, loss of a child, and abandonment by their husband and family. In fact, it is the years of isolation and cover ups by family members to avoid embarrassment that make these victims difficult to find, but we do!
We locate fistula victims, coordinate their surgery, care for them during recovery, provide counseling, and offer skill training to support themselves. We ensure that their physical, emotional, and spiritual healing is comprehensive so they can rejoin society with the skills and confidence they need.
Making a difference