This post originally appeared on One.org’s blog and highlights the work of two fistula advocates, Habiba Corodhia Mohamed and Sarah Omega Kidangasi, who are bringing hope to women with fistula in Kenya through our Action on Fistula program.
By Siegfried Modola
June 18, 2015
Obstetric Fistula is a severe medical condition affecting over a million women in developing countries, many of which are in Africa. The condition, caused by prolonged or failed childbirth, creates a constant leaking of urine, feces, and blood as a result of a hole that forms between the vagina and bladder or rectum. It disproportionally affects poor women since they often give birth without medical help and do not have access to adequate medical care during or after labor.
Women affected by fistula experience severe sociocultural stigmatization within a community. Often these women are shunned or even sent away by their husbands, families and communities because of the shame associated with the condition. They lose their social standing and most tragically, the ability to lead a dignified and independent life.
Even today, many of these women are not aware that fistula can be treated through a simple surgical repair procedure, since only 1 out of 50 women affected receive treatment each year.
However, two women in western Kenya, where fistula is prevalent, have dedicated their lives to helping women suffering from the condition.