Obstetric fistula happens most frequently in rural areas, where emergency medical care is not easily accessible. A woman’s risk of developing fistula is also exacerbated by cultural misunderstanding about doctors and surgery. Madagascar faces both of these challenges: its infrastructure is poor, which can make travel to the hospital complicated and dangerous. Also, there is…
Blandine is from Vohinavna, a small rural village in southeastern Madagascar. She is the mother of five living children.
She traveled to the SALFA hospital in Vangaindrano with her mother, Kemba, to seek treatment for an obstetric fistula that she had developed during childbirth.
When the Fistula Foundation team met her, she was recovering from a successful fistula surgery. She did not share much about her background or what led her to treatment, but that didn’t matter: her laugh said it all. Our team reported that Blandine was so happy to be free of her fistula, “She honestly couldn’t stop laughing, which was so heartwarming!”
Her enthusiasm was infectious, for many reasons. She had also told other women in villages near hers about the free treatment SALFA offered, and she is the reason that other women have sought fistula treatment they would otherwise not have known existed.
- Population: 24,430,325
- Average Births per Woman: 4.12
- Female Literacy: 62.6%
- Population Living in Poverty: 75.3% (less than $1.25/day)