Flavia

Meet Flavia

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.

Flavia's Story

After two days of labor, Flavia’s family took her to a hospital in Matala, a small town about 2 hours by taxi, as they did not have their own transportation. C-sections are not usually available there and, on the third day, staff pulled the baby’s body from Flavia’s. The baby had not survived, and it was too late to prevent the damage done to Flavia’s body – she had developed a fistula and began to leak urine.

Flavia’s young husband left her and married another woman. Her father, who was with the military in another city, heard about the trouble at home and immediately returned. He brought her to CEML and explained to staff that he was not happy with his ex-son-in-law but he also blamed himself. He said with sadness, “this would not have happened if I had been there.”

Flavia’s surgery was a difficult one due to the position of the fistula, but it was successful. She and her father went home happy knowing she was now dry.

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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