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…
Rose lives in Vohitrambo Village, about 15km from the nearest hospital in the small village of Vangaindrano. She developed obstetric fistula at the age of 16, during her first delivery. Like most women in her community, she had given birth at home under the care of a traditional birth attendant. But her labor did not progress as expected and Rose endured painful labor for three days.
Life became very difficult for Rose, in a number of ways. She is not married, and her father is dead. Survival became a challenge.
But one day, Rose learned of free surgery available through Fistula Foundation partner SALFA, through another woman who had suffered from the same condition.
Her surgery was successful, and Rose feels like a new woman. She will be able to earn a living now that she is no longer leaking or smelling, and she is excited about the happy future ahead of her.
- 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)