Meet Odeline

As is the norm in Chad, Odeline was married at the age of 23 and soon became pregnant. The pregnancy went well and she delivered a healthy baby boy. Three years later she also delivered her second baby girl without problems. In 2006, she became pregnant with her third child. She carried the baby for nine months and expected the labor to be normal as in her first two deliveries, but after having been in labor for more than two days it was obvious something was seriously wrong.

Odeline's Story

Without access to an ambulance or proper transportation, she had to travel on a carriage for 10 hours to the nearest hospital in Bebaloum. She had been in labor for three days when she arrived at the hospital in January 2013. Upon arrival she had to undergo a caesarean section to remove the stillborn child. Soon after the surgery, Odeline found that she was involuntarily leaking urine. Still recovering from her loss, she was diagnosed with vesico-vaginal fistula. Unable to attend to her normal chores at home and continuously leaking urine, her husband left her and she was forced to return to her family.

With determination, Odeline went back to Bebaloum Hospital in 2007 to seek help. That year she underwent an unsuccessful surgery and was not healed. Odeline’s spirit and hope was subdued and she decided to accept her fate and return home.

Finally she heard about the National Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair in N’Djamena. Overwhelmed by the burden of her condition, she decided to seek help there. Odeline’s case was so complicated that it would need a skilful and experienced fistula specialist to operate on her. Odeline got an appointment with Dr. Nessy, an expert fistula surgeon working at the center. She recalls thinking: “This is my last chance. If Dr. Nessy, who helped others to find their health, does not heal me, it will be the end for me.”

Her final operation took place on October 30th 2013 and finally, after almost seven years of suffering, Odeline was healed. “I don’t know how to express my joy the day I recovered my health. I am grateful to God and all the medical team at the Center for Fistula Repair. I was so desperate because of the unsuccessful surgery I had gone through, but God is great. I will continue to pray to my God to give Dr. Nessy added strength and knowledge to help my friends who are not yet healed.”

About Chad

  • Population: 11,852,462
  • Average Births per Woman: 4.45
  • Female Literacy: 31.9%
  • Population Living in Poverty: 46.7% (less than $1.25/day)
Read More

We’re Making a Difference in Chad

Care providers gather in the lobby of the Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair in N'Djamena, Chad

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Expanding Access to Quality Treatment for Women in Chad

Women suffering from fistula in Chad will have access to a regional medical center which specializes in treating women with fistula, thanks to one woman’s very generous gift to The Fistula Foundation. Her donation will help The Center for Reproductive Health and Fistula Repair become a center of excellence with the capacity to treat even more women suffering from obstetric fistula. The…

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Read Another Woman’s Story

  • Beatrice-Kenya

    Beatrice

    Kenya

    Beatrice is 17 she lives in Western Kenya. Many women with fistula suffer for years or decades before they are able to access surgical treatment. Fortunately for Beatrice, who was 16 when she developed fistula, it was less than a month before she received treatment at the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, Kenya. Beatrice developed fistula after laboring at home for two days in the presence of a traditional birth attendant.

  • Celestine

    Kenya

    In obstructed labor with her sixth child, Celestine was rushed to her local health facility, only to be told she couldn’t have emergency surgery until her family made a down payment. Anxious and afraid, she waited for her husband to return with the money needed.

  • Annet Jane

    Annet Jane

    Uganda

    Pregnant at 14, Annet Jane suffered with a fistula for 23 years before receiving treatment. Now, she has hope for the future.

  • Laila

    Afghanistan

    As a child bride in Afghanistan, Laila developed a fistula before her 12th birthday. Today, after receiving free treatment at Cure International Hospital, she feels as if she has been given life again.

  • Fatma

    Tanzania

    When 18 year-old Fatma became pregnant, she did not have early and quality access to the healthcare she wanted when she gave birth. Fatma developed a fistula as a result of prolonged labor.

  • Jahanara

    Bangladesh

    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.

  • Ravony

    Madagascar

    For the last eight years, Ravony has suffered with obstetric fistula, which caused her to leak urine uncontrollably. Her fistula was the result of a five day labor that ended in the death of her child.

  • Serafina

    Angola

    Serafina is 18 years old and from the Mukubal tribe in southwestern Angola. Married off at a young age and one of several wives, Serafina became pregnant when she was 14. She is very small-boned and was suffering from malnutrition when she came to the hospital, as food is often scarce in that part of the country. As a result of that and other factors, her delivery did not go well.

  • Beauty

    Zambia

    Beauty developed a fistula five years ago after a very complicated delivery. She told doctors at St. Francis Mission Hospital that she prayed every day for a miracle, never knowing that her leaking was actually caused by a medical condition for which free treatment was available.

  • Zatindravelo

    Madagascar

    When it came time to deliver her baby, Zatindravelo dutifully made her way to a medical facility to deliver, but her labor took a turn for the worse when there were no doctors or nurses present to assist her when she needed them most. She labored for 17 hours with her first child. The child did not survive. As a result of her prolonged, unrelieved labor, she had developed obstetric fistula.

  • Annonciata

    Uganda

    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.

  • Chepotyeltyel

    Kenya

    Chepotyeltyel is a Pokot woman from a remote, rural area in northwestern Kenya. After suffering with fistula for nearly 50 years, she was finally able to receive free fistula treatment in July 2016.

  • Pushpa

    Nepal

    Pushpa is approximately 50 years old and from a remote village in western Nepal. When she arrived at Kathmandu Model Hospital, she was leaking urine and feces uncontrollably and was severely depressed.

  • Gul-Afghanistan

    Gul

    Afghanistan

    Gul lives in Afghanistan. At 13 years old, her father arranged for her to marry an older man who had another wife, and after one year of marriage, Gul became pregnant. When she went into labor, it lasted for two days. There were no clinics or doctors where she lived and Gul's husband became worried. He took her to her father's house, where Gul's father killed a sheep and placed the sheepskin on her as part of a traditional treatment used in her area. After three days of wearing the sheepskin, Gul delivered a stillborn baby.

  • Lida

    Afghanistan

    Lida gave birth to her first and only child 12 years ago. Sadly, the baby died shortly after it was born. Not only that, but Lida developed a fistula during the difficult delivery and started leaking urine constantly from that day.

  • Alphonsia

    Tanzania

    Alphonsia’s heart-wrenching story began 27 years ago after her labor failed to progress properly.

  • Awetu

    Tanzania

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

  • Nathi-Uganda

    Nathi

    Uganda

    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.

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