Obstetric fistula happens most frequently in rural areas, where emergency medical care is not easily accessible. A woman’s risk of developing fistula is also exacerbated by cultural misunderstanding about doctors and surgery. Madagascar faces both of these challenges: its infrastructure is poor, which can make travel to the hospital complicated and dangerous. Also, there is…
Landy grew up in a rice farming family in the village of Soaseragna, about 80km from the closest city of Morondava. She became pregnant at 14 years old. When it came time to deliver, she labored at home as most women do in her village. But after a day of excruciating pain, her labor did not progress and her family took her to the village hospital. The baby did not survive.
Almost immediately after the baby was removed, Landy began to leak urine. The prolonged obstructed labor had resulted in an obstetric fistula.
Life became very difficult for her. Her aunt explained that others in the community began to neglect her and treat her poorly. But one day, her luck changed. Landy met a woman who had suffered from the same symptoms she was exhibiting. The woman explained that the condition was called obstetric fistula, and that doctors at the SALFA hospital in Morondava had healed her fistula, and could heal Landy’s, too.
With her aunt at her side, Landy made her way to Morondava for treatment. When the Fistula Foundation team met her, she was full of hope and looking forward to surgery. She cannot wait to return home to tell everyone in her village that she is healed.
- Population: 24,430,325
- Average Births per Woman: 4.12
- Female Literacy: 62.6%
- Population Living in Poverty: 75.3% (less than $1.25/day)