In mid-February, fistula surgeons, policy makers, researchers, and advocates gathered from around the world in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to attend the 2nd HOPE Maternal Health & Fistula Conference. The event was hosted by Dr. Iftikher Mahmood and HOPE Hospital, Fistula Foundation’s trusted partner in Bangladesh. Over the course of the two-day conference, attendees heard from…
The population of the region is made up of farmers who are unable to afford regular medical care except in emergency situations. Most women here never see a doctor once during their entire pregnancy.
Hamida’s labor became obstructed and she endured three days of excruciating pain; her baby did not survive. Teknaf’s remote location makes emergency obstetric intervention nearly impossible. There are no hospitals in the area capable of performing a Caesarian section and the population relies on Cox’s Bazar for emergency medical treatment – which requires a three hour drive to reach.
This difficult labor left Hamida with a fistula, leaking urine from her incontinence. Her husband divorced her because he could not stand the continuous odor. She suffered a life of misery and isolation from her fistula and other complications that made her life unbearable. She lived with her parents but was supposed to have a family of her own.
Eventually, Hamida was able to seek treatment for her fistula. After a failed surgery at another institution, in 2012 Hamida was introduced to Hope Hospital. The hospital is a network of medical facilities that provides care to underserved rural areas of Bangladesh. Hope Hospital has been a partner of The Fistula Foundation for more than two years, receiving support for patient identification and fistula education, funding for fistula repair surgeries and advanced surgical training to allow the hospital’s fistula surgeon to deepen his skills and perform more complicated fistula surgeries.
Here at Hope Hospital, Hamida received a successful operation that will allow her to start a new life of her own, one filled with hope and opportunity. She no longer needs to suffer a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world.
- Population: 168,957,745
- Average Births per Woman: 2.45
- Female Literacy: 58.5%
- Population Living in Poverty: 43.3% (less than $1.25/day)