Ana-Angola

Meet Ana

Today, Ana is 18 years old, with an enthusiastic outlook and bubbly smile. That wasn’t always the case. Ana was just shy of 16 years old when she became pregnant. Everything went well, until it was time to deliver. Her labor was excruciating, and lasted for days.

Ana's Story

On the fourth day of labor, nurses pushed and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, so hard that eventually, the baby’s arm was detached. After this, the baby no longer moved.

She survived this horrific delivery, only to discover that she had begun to leak urine.

Her incontinence prevented Ana from leaving her home. She never went out. Until one day, after her aunt told her about a program she had heard about, provided by Fistula Foundation grantee partner Centro Evangélico de Medicina do Lubango (CEML). Here, women could access fistula repair surgery.

Full of new hope, Ana showed up at CEML for surgery. It went very well and staff at CEML describe her recovery as nearly instant, noting that she nearly bounced out of her hospital bed to announce that she was dry!

While she was recovering, Ana had the opportunity to practice her letters and began to recognize some words. Today, she has hope for the future — as well as that enthusiastic outlook and bubbly smile.

About Angola

  • Population: 20,172,332
  • Average Births per Woman: 5.31
  • Female Literacy: 60.7%
  • Population Living in Poverty: 40.5% (less than $1.25/day)
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Read Another Woman’s Story

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    When Rahima was just 13 she was married to save her family money on living costs. She soon became pregnant and suffered through prolonged, obstructed labor that left her incontinent. She lived with obstetric fistula for 12 years before finally finding help through our partners at HOPE Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh.

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  • Rasoandrana Marie Lucie

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    Rasoandrana Marie Lucie became pregnant at the age of 15. Her labor began in April, 2016, and lasted for an excruciating three days. Eventually, the baby was delivered via C-section at a government hospital. The child did not survive. Not long after, Rasoandrana began leaking urine: the difficult labor had left her with obstetric fistula.

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    Khadijah

    Chad

    Khadijah lived with fistula for 18 years, and it isolated her from everything and everyone around her. Originally from Chad's northern region of Bar Elgazel, she was married when she was only 14 years old. Her first pregnancy came three years afterwards and, not knowing the importance of seeking health care or treatment, she never received any prenatal care.

  • Halima

    Halima

    Kenya

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    Levine never imagined that appendicitis surgery would result in an injury that could devastate her life.

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  • Halima, from Somalia (photo credit: WAHA)

    Halima

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    Kamala

    Nepal

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    Maria

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    Nathi

    Uganda

    Nathi* lives in Uganda. She was married at the age of 13 and two years later was pregnant with her first child. After enduring a difficult labor, Nathi lost her baby and was left with obstetric fistula, incontinent and leaking wastes. Her husband abandoned her and soon after, her family did, too. At 15, she was alone and scared.

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