Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, women in Afghanistan were barred from attending school. Because law and tradition also prevented them from receiving treatment from male doctors, most women gave birth at home, often without a skilled attendant. According to World Bank data, by 2002, a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy or childbirth-related…
CURE International Hospital, Afghanistan
Kabuli arrived at Fistula Foundation’s partner in Kabul, Afghanistan, CURE International Hospital, leaking urine from an obstetric fistula that she had been living with for 15 years. She cried uncontrollably for the first day at the hospital, from the suffering and shame that she had been living with for so long and from her discomfort during the examination of her fistula. But despite her uneasiness with the intimacy of the procedure, Kabuli knew that the promise of a life free from the stigma and pain of fistula was worth it.
Kabuli is the third of four wives, so when she developed a fistula after enduring obstructed labor without any emergency medical care or a Caesarian section, her husband shunned her. He didn’t want a useless wife who couldn’t work anymore and smelled constantly. Leaking urine uncontrollably for 15 years, she lived in shame and isolation in her husband’s home. Kabuli thought she would be miserable for the rest of her life.
Then her family heard about the fistula repair services at CURE International Hospital, funded by Fistula Foundation. Kabuli was brought to CURE and soon after her arrival she had a successful fistula surgery. Kabuli smiled all throughout the recovery process while waiting to be discharged as she finally began to have hope for a better future. Today, she is dry and can hold her head high and live her life with dignity again.
Story and photo provided by our partner, CURE International, in August 2013.
- Population: 33,332,025
- Average Births per Woman: 5.22
- Female Literacy: 24.2%
- Population Living in Poverty: 36% (less than $1.25/day)