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…
Her husband married a second wife, who gave birth to several children over the next few years. Lida was allowed to remain in the household, but she felt lonely and useless. When she first heard about free treatment at CURE Hospital in Kabul a few years ago, she did not yet allow herself to hope because she knew her husband would never agree to take her to Kabul. Their village was on the opposite side of the country and transportation was expensive; plus, she told herself, her husband and his second wife no longer needed her.
Luckily, a caring aunt and nephew helped Lida get to Kabul. She arrived at CURE Hospital and was overwhelmed to find dozens of other women suffering from the same condition. That, along with the kindness of hospital staff, brought her to tears, and doctors report that she continued to cry tears of joy for several days.
After being evaluated and officially diagnosed with fistula, Lida underwent a successful repair surgery and woke up dry for the first time in 12 years. Overjoyed, she left the hospital full of hope for the future.
- Population: 33,332,025
- Average Births per Woman: 5.22
- Female Literacy: 24.2%
- Population Living in Poverty: 36% (less than $1.25/day)