Meet Betty

Betty developed fistula during her first pregnancy, after laboring at home for seven days. Her baby did not survive. Today, she is healthy once again thanks to free surgery provided through the Action on Fistula program.

Betty's Story

Betty  is 23 years originally from Uganda, from a place named Chepkoine. She became pregnant in 2014 at the age of 22. After getting pregnant, she was forced to drop out of school.

She carried the pregnancy without any complications to full term. She went into labor, but her mother incorrectly assumed that Betty was experiencing false labour and made her endure labor pains for one full week. By the time they decided to seek medical help, everything had gone wrong. Reaching the health facility, they learned that Betty’s 5kg baby had died. She finally had to undergo a Cesarian section in order to remove the fetus. Following her surgery, she immediately noticed the leaking of urine.

She was referred to Cherengany Nursing Home from Kitale District Hospital, and here, she received free fistula surgery through the Action on Fistula program that will bring to an end to her life of isolation, and enable her to helpful to her mother, rather than being a burden.

About Kenya

  • Population: 45,010,056
  • Average Births per Woman: 3.54
  • Female Literacy: 84.2%
  • Population Living in Poverty: 43.4% (less than $1.25/day)
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We’re Making a Difference in Kenya

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  • Fanny

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  • Christine

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    Despite the efforts of one dedicated doctor who rode over an hour by motorbike late in the evening to help save the life of Christine and her baby, the baby did not survive. Her prolonged labor also resulted in obstetric fistula. Her husband abandoned her because he could not stand the smell of her incontinence, but her brothers defied cultural tradition and insisted she and her five children live with them. Then, a radio advertisement changed her life.

  • Bilkis

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    Bilkis is just 20 years old. She developed an obstetric fistula during the delivery of her first baby. Bilkis delivered under the guidance of a traditional birth attendant who encouraged her to continue her labor at home despite the fact that she had already been in labor for two days.

  • 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.

  • Alradya-Sudan

    Alradya

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    Alradya is 17 years old and lives in northern Sudan. When she was 15, she was married to her cousin, a farmer. She became pregnant and when she went into labor, had only her mother at her side. She endured excruciating labor for two days, but there was still no sign of the baby, which she could no longer feel moving. A traditional birth attendant was summoned to examine Alradya, who ordered that she be sent to the nearest hospital.

  • Action on Fistula - Jane

    Jane and Elizabeth

    Kenya

    After suffering five miscarriages, Jane prepared to deliver her first child. But two days of difficult labor left Jane with an obstetric fistula. At home, she became traumatized by isolation and mistreatment from her husband, who had taken another wife. Her sister, Elizabeth, stepped in.

  • Halima, from Somalia (photo credit: WAHA)

    Halima

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    Halima is yet another brave fistula survivor from Somalia. “When I went to labour, the pain got stronger and stronger and lasted on and on. Something was not right. It took two days to convince my husband to bring me to a health facility. The doctors that saw me decided to immediately carry out a cesarean section. But they had no anesthesia. The pain was unbearable, and when I screamed they started beating me. My baby could not be saved and I developed what I later learned was an obstetric fistula. My husband left me because he could not stand the smell caused by my injury.”

  • Queen

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  • Gul-Afghanistan

    Gul

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  • Jenipher

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  • Christiana

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  • Mwajuma

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  • Lucie

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    With a tube down her nose to her stomach, Lucie was unable to talk. Her sister, Elysa, relayed this story on her behalf.

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