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Meet Everlyn

Everlyn developed fistula during her second pregnancy. Shunned and stigmatized by her own family, her husband stood by her side until she received successful treatment through the Action on Fistula program.

Everlyn's Story

Everlyn is from Vihiga county, in Kenya. She is 30 years old. She developed fistula in July 2003 during the birth of her second child. She was in labor for a day and a half. The distance from her home to the nearest facility wasn’t that far, but the problem was, she had already labored at home for about 9 hours before being taken to the hospital. The health facility was only 1 kilometer away – but her travel there was a challenge, because a motorbike was the only available mode of transport.

On reaching the health facility, they were unable to help her because her the facility was not well-enough equipped to handle her situation. She was referred to a hospital in the larger town of Kisumu, where she delivered through Cesarian section to a stillborn baby.

Her story is somewhat different from the story of many other women because, in her case, instead of her family remaining close to her, they were the ones who stigmatized her. She only found solace in her husband, who even went as far as quitting employment to take care of her. Her family told her that they wished her dead instead of bringing shame to the family.

Her fistula was very complex and two attempts at repair were not successful. She finally underwent a successful diversion surgery, provided free of charge through the Action on Fistula program. She is so, so happy that she cannot start going out like other women, because the last time she ever went to church was 11 years ago. She looks forward to contributing to her home and community by getting into business to help support raising their one son.

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

Read Another Woman’s Story

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    Towanda is 20 years old and from a rural area just outside of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. Four years ago at the age of 16, she became pregnant. When the time came to deliver, there were a lot of complications.

  • Soazara

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    Soazara's husband abandoned her, because he could not stand her smell. Life became almost unbearable for her.

  • Aneni

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  • Naresia Kenya

    Naresia

    Kenya

    Naresia is a Masai girl from a rural village in Kenya. Only five months ago, at the age of 14, Naresia gave birth to a baby. After a prolonged and difficult labor, she awoke to find her bed soaked with urine. The doctors informed her that the delivery process had left her with an obstetric fistula and she was now incontinent.

  • Saran

    Guinea

    After developing a fistula with the birth of her fourth child, Saran received free fistula surgery at our partner site Jean Paul II Hospital in Conakry, Guinea.

  • Fatima, from Sudan (photo credit: WAHA)

    Fatima

    Sudan

    Fatima lives in Sudan. She went into labor at the age of 16, but initially didn't have access to a hospital. By the time she was taken to the hospital, the baby was dead, and Fatima developed an obstetric fistula. Her husband divorced her, leaving Fatima emotionally shattered by the loss of her husband and first born child.

  • Molia

    Zambia

    In 1996, Molia was pregnant with twins during her seventh pregnancy. Her mother was a traditional birth attendant, so the first twin was delivered at home. But the second one was delivered at a rural health center and her delivery became obstructed. The baby did not survive. After her delivery, she sat on a bike and noticed she was wet. 

  • Ravony

    Madagascar

    For the last eight years, Ravony has suffered with obstetric fistula, which caused her to leak urine uncontrollably. Her fistula was the result of a five day labor that ended in the death of her child.

  • Elvanah

    Madagascar

    Elvanah gave birth to her first child at the age of 17. Her labor became obstructed, and ultimately was delivered via C-section. Her prolonged obstructed labor had resulted in an obstetric fistula.

  • Justine

    Uganda

    Justine is 37 years old and lives in Bumasiki , a small village in Bugiri District in Uganda. When her labor pains began, she prepared to go to the hospital but didn’t have enough money to get there. She arrived 20 hours later after gathering sufficient funds from friends and neighbors; but by then, she had developed an obstetric fistula.

  • Flavia

    Flavia

    Angola

    Flavia is a shy 17 year old girl who was married when she was just 15. Soon after, she became pregnant. Her labor began at home, but the family was unprepared when the labor became obstructed. Not knowing what to do, they finally took her to a hospital.

  • Jacqueline

    Zambia

    During her first pregnancy in 2008, Jacqueline was in labor for a day before she was taken to Muyombe Clinic and then on to Isoka District Hospital. Her baby was removed using forceps and the baby was still born. Then she began to leak feces and urine.

  • Prisca

    Zambia

    Prisca was diagnosed with multiple fistulas, and feared she would have to live with the condition forever. Then, a radio program changed her life.

  • Beauty

    Zambia

    Beauty developed a fistula five years ago after a very complicated delivery. She told doctors at St. Francis Mission Hospital that she prayed every day for a miracle, never knowing that her leaking was actually caused by a medical condition for which free treatment was available.

  • Jane

    Kenya

    Conducting patient outreach in rural western Kenya, Jane faces a number of challenges—including threats to her life—as she travels in search of women suffering with fistula. But knowing there are many women who are enjoying life once again thanks to her efforts gives great meaning to her work.

  • Cellina

    Kenya

    Cellina Nyasugutha is a community health volunteer with Daraja Mbili, an outreach program based in Kisii.