Meet Kaudha

Kaudha is from eastern Uganda. At age 27, she developed a fistula after spending hours in labor with her third child. Unfortunately, the baby did not survive, and Kaudha’s condition left her feeling isolated from friends and loved ones. But in fall 2015, her story—and her outlook—changed dramatically.

Kaudha's Story

Loy Tumusiime, fistula program coordinator at our partner organization Uganda Village Project, recalls the first time she met Kaudha. She remembers a woman with a quiet strength, somber and reserved.

Kaudha’s trouble had started about five months before, with the birth of her third child. After hours of labor, she gave birth to a stillborn baby. As if that weren’t painful enough, Kaudha soon realized she was leaking urine uncontrollably.

She felt depressed and isolated, no longer able to attend church or host guests in her home. Her husband, Kiirya, was supportive, but due to her condition they began sleeping in separate beds. Days dragged on.

“I would go to the banana plantation with a mat and sit there alone all day and then at night come home and sleep because I didn’t want to associate with people,” she says. “I even had good clothes and wouldn’t wear them because I feared ruining them. I felt trapped.”

In fall 2015, Kaudha’s story—and her outlook—changed dramatically. Through the efforts of Uganda Village Project, she was screened for fistula and received free surgery.

A few weeks later, Loy paid her a routine follow-up visit at home. “When we reached her village, it took a moment to register that the young, animated woman laughing and waving at us was Kaudha,” Loy says. “She was completely transformed, her somber, reserved demeanor replaced with a charismatic, youthful energy.”

“I am so very happy. I feel like every part of my body is OK now,” Kaudha says. “I can sit anywhere and move around without fear of leaking or smelling or something happening. I go to church, I eat with my friends, I am part of the community again. I feel free.”

Kaudha and her husband, Kiirya
Kaudha and Kiirya at the hospital
Kaudha waving
Kaudha after surgery
Kaudha and Loy follow-up visit
Kaudha and Loy follow-up visit
Kaudha and Loy
Kaudha and Loy

About Uganda

  • Population: 38,319,241
  • Average Births per Woman: 4.8
  • Female Literacy: 71.5%
  • Population Living in Poverty: 18.7% (less than $1.25/day)
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Read Another Woman’s Story

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    Felistas developed fistula at the age of 17, after delivering a stillborn baby via Cesarian section. Her husband left her because he could not stand her condition. She suffered alone until learning one day that treatment was available through the Action on Fistula program.

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  • Marivelo

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    In May, 2013, Marivelo went in to labor with her first child. Her labor lasted for four days. The child did not survive, and Marivelo was left incontinent of urine. She had developed an obstetric fistula as a result of the prolonged, unrelieved labor.

  • Zeinabou

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    Zeinabou comes from a village 100 miles north of Danja, Niger. She was married and became pregnant while still in her teens. As is the local custom, Zeinabou planned to deliver her baby at home because maternity services are not easily accessible.

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    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.

  • Lucie

    Madagascar

    With a tube down her nose to her stomach, Lucie was unable to talk. Her sister, Elysa, relayed this story on her behalf.

  • Rasoanirina

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  • Jahanara

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    Jahanara is just 23 years old. She was in labor for a full day at home before going to a hospital for an emergency C-section. By then, unfortunately, the damage had already been done.

  • Harka Maya

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    A mother of two, Harka Maya lives in Sindhuli, Nepal, roughly 80 miles (129 km) from Kathmandu. She developed a fistula last summer, while in labor with her third child. Being from a poor farming family, it was customary for her to deliver at home.

  • Rasoanandrasana

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    Rasoanandrasana's body had gone through a great deal of trauma from childbirth. At the tender age of 15, she was married, and it wasn't long after that she became pregnant. Her labor lasted more than 12 hours before her doctor delivered via Caesarian section. Her baby did not survive, and Rasoanandrasana was left with obstetric fistula.

  • Aidah

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    72 year old Aidah lived with obstetric fistula for an astounding 41 years before accessing treatment at Evangel Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center in Jos. Her family stuck by her side the entire time, and recounted to hospital staff how fistula severely limited her (and their) opportunities and success in life.

  • Celestine

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    Khadijah lived with fistula for 18 years, and it isolated her from everything and everyone around her. Originally from Chad's northern region of Bar Elgazel, she was married when she was only 14 years old. Her first pregnancy came three years afterwards and, not knowing the importance of seeking health care or treatment, she never received any prenatal care.

  • Siana

    Siana

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  • Ravony

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  • Vinesy

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    Vinesy had surgery in April 2013 for appendicitis, but something went wrong and she became incontinent as a result. She had developed an iatrogenic fistula as a result of the procedure and had begun to leak urine uncontrollably.

  • Alitash

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