Meet Nathi

Nathi* lives in Uganda. She was married at the age of 13 and two years later was pregnant with her first child. After enduring a difficult labor, Nathi lost her baby and was left with obstetric fistula, incontinent and leaking wastes. Her husband abandoned her and soon after, her family did, too. At 15, she was alone and scared.

Nathi's Story

Then, she found help – or rather, help found her. Through funding from The Fistula Foundation, an outreach counselor from The Association for the Re-Orientation and Rehabilitation of Teso Women for Development (TERREWODE) was able to visit her village and identify her as a candidate for fistula repair surgery. She was transported to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital in eastern Uganda and underwent a successful surgery. Healed, Nathi also received follow-up care, counseling and reintegration support.

Today, Nathi lives among other fistula survivors in a camp run by the organization named “I Have Been Delivered,” in a hut built by male supporters. Customs and traditional practices can make it difficult for a woman to own land in Uganda, but because these men donated this land, fistula survivors like Nathi – who have no home or family to return to – are able to live on their own. On this land, Nathi is growing food to eat and to sell, so she is learning to support herself financially. And she is supporting other women, sharing her story and telling every woman with fistula that she meets that it is possible to be cured and to feel hopeful once again.

*The patient’s real name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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)
Read More

We’re Making a Difference in Uganda

Fistula Foundation - Country: Uganda

Your Donations at Work: Uganda

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU) | Thanks to successful patient outreach efforts, our partners at CoRSU report that they were able to treat 136 women last year, surpassing their goal of providing free fistula repair surgeries to 100 women. In addition to outreach, their program includes follow-up visits at local screening sites closer to…

The Life You Can Save Charity

Featured by The Life You Can Save

This month, our partners at The Life You Can Save recommended Fistula Foundation as one of eight recommended charities working to restore vital, long-term services to the people of Nepal. Fistula Foundation’s work to support the Fistula Ambassador Program run by our partners at the Uganda Village Project was also featured: To view the full…

Read Another Woman’s Story

  • Vitasoa


    Vitasoa is from the village of Manja, approximately 250km from the nearest city, Morondava. She developed fistula during the birth of her first child.

  • Esther


    Esther gave birth to her second child, Manuel, less than one year ago. She was encouraged to stay at home to deliver the baby, where she labored for three days with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Fortunately, she gave birth to a lively baby boy. However, after four days she noticed she was leaking urine and was unable to control it.

  • Brenda



    Thanks to a newly opened fistula hospital close to her home in Kisii, Kenya, 17-year-old Brenda was able to get treatment after six months. Now that she is healed, she has dreams of returning to school to become a nurse.

  • Jahanara


    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.

  • Awetu


    After Awetu developed a fistula following a difficult labor and delivery, her husband left her and married another. She was heartbroken.

  • Kemzo


    Kemzo endured two to three days of excruciating labor before being taken to get a C-section at a public hospital in Vangaindrano. The prolonged obstructed labor had resulted in obstetric fistula.

  • Pastor Raphael


    The fact that he is blind has never slowed him down, and at 45 years, Pastor Raphael is feeling young and energetic. As a child, Pastor Raphael was unable to finish school as he had tend to the family’s cattle, but he always felt a calling to become a pastor and to serve his community.

  • Marizany


    At the age of 18, Marizany and her husband looked forward to the arrival of their first child. But labor did not go as planned, and Marizany was left with an obstetric fistula, leaking urine uncontrollably. She suffered from fistula for 28 years.

  • Meet Gladys



    Although she lives in a remote village in southwestern Kenya, successful patient outreach efforts helped Gladys get the treatment she needed. Now recovered, she has started a small business to support herself and her two children.

  • Felana


    At the tender age of 15, Felana became pregnant. She suffered a prolonged obstructed labor, and by the time her stillborn baby was delivered, she had developed obstetric fistula.

  • Bilkis


    Bilkis is just 20 years old. She developed an obstetric fistula during the delivery of her first baby. Bilkis delivered under the guidance of a traditional birth attendant who encouraged her to continue her labor at home despite the fact that she had already been in labor for two days.

  • Fistula Foundation - Maria



    Maria is 42 years old. She is HIV-positive and currently on antiretroviral therapy. Maria doesn’t have a permanent place to live – she cannot work because of her incontinence, and has no real income to live on. She survives through the ongoing support of her relatives and friends.

  • Annonciata


    Annonciata is a 56-year old mother and farmer from a small village in Budaka District in Uganda. She had previously given birth to six children without significant complications, but her seventh delivery did not go as planned.

  • Selina


    Selina, a traditional birth attendant from remote West Pokot, Kenya, helped eight women from her village get life-changing fistula surgery. And she’s not done yet.

  • Towanda


    Towanda is 20 years old and from a rural area just outside of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. Four years ago at the age of 16, she became pregnant. When the time came to deliver, there were a lot of complications.

  • Sujata


    Sujata lives in Bajura, a very poor and remote mountain district in western Nepal. She lives with her husband, whom she married when she was 16 years old, and his family in a small house shared by 12 people. One year after their wedding, Sujata was looking forward to the birth of her first child. There was no health facility nearby, so when Sujata’s labor entered its eighth day, the family called on the local birth attendant.

  • Fistula Foundation - Elizabeth Atieno



    Pregnant at the age of 13, Sylvia labored for two days before delivering a stillborn baby. She developed obstetric fistula, which led to two decades of shame and sadness. Then one day, she heard a radio announcement that would change her life forever.