In honor of International Women’s Day, Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant writes about how access to surgery and vocational training is empowering women—and impacting entire communities in the process. Read the story of Rose on Global Moms Challenge: #WomenInspire: How access to surgery and vocational training is changing lives – Global Moms Challenge Rose Chelimo…
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 cannow 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.
- 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)