Social Media Roundup: Kristi Eaton, Writer in Residence

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Meet Fistula Foundation’s first-ever Writer in Residence: Kristi Eaton! Kristi is a veteran journalist who is passionate about issues facing women and indigenous peoples, global poverty, and social entrepreneurship. She’s traveled the world reporting on these topics for The Associated Press, NBC News, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, and more.

Kristi spent three weeks in Zambia on the road with Bwalya Chomba, our Zambia Program Manager. She met patients, survivors, surgeons, nurses, outreach workers, and others as she traveled with Bwalya through some of the most remote corners of Zambia. Check out Kristi’s journey on Instagram and on Twitter, and experience Fistula Foundation’s countrywide treatment network up close. View her posts below:

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I am the inaugural writer in residence for The Fistula Foundation (@fistula_foundation) and will spend three weeks traveling throughout Zambia documenting the effects of fistula on women. Fistula is a hole in the birth canal that happens during prolonged labor. It leads to leaky urine and feces and social isolation for the women. It’s mostly seen in developing countries. Follow along as I document the works the Fistula Foundation is doing! After a whirlwind trip from Oklahoma to Lusaka, the capital, I took an eight-hour ride to Mpika today. The Fistula Foundation is holding surgery this week. Here are some patients pre-surgery at Chilonga Mission Hospital. Asked if they were OK with getting their picture taken, they responded, “Yes, people need to see how we are suffering.” Six patients had surgery today and they will continue through Saturday. Each of the women receive a package that has wipes, soap, pads, toothbrush and toothpaste, a traditional chilenge wrap, a pair of panties and other materials. More than 40 women will receive treatment during the surgical outreach. #fightfistula . . . #fistula #fistulafoundation #zambia #mpika #lusaka #women #womenshealth

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Today is my last day in Zambia. The experience has been exhilarating, enlightening and exhausting. I would be remiss to not thank several people who made it come together. Fistula Foundation Zambia Program Manager Bwalya Magawa Chomba (@bwalyachomba) and driver Dickson Victor Chibale were so kind to me as we traveled throughout the country together. They’d be willing to stop and let me buy a Coke Zero and wouldn’t laugh at any of my questions about the culture. Jessica Love (@jessica.lee.love) and Lindsey Pollaczek from Fistula Foundation U.S., who helped arrange things. The program officers, doctors, nurses and – especially – the patients. They allowed me to ask questions about a very stigmatizing condition and did it with courage and conviction. I thank them for that. Now for a full day of traveling back to the U.S

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