In 2013, Fistula Foundation began working with a new partner in Damba, Angola, known as Unidade Fístula Obstétrica (UFO). UFO is the only fistula treatment center in northern Angola, a country known for its poor health care infrastructure and the highest rate of child mortality in the world. In the first half of this project…
After at least five days of labor, Serafina’s family realized she needed help and took her to a hospital in the coastal town of Namibe. Serafina herself said she does not remember anything about the last several days of the delivery. At the hospital, doctors cut her abdomen open and removed the stillborn baby nearly a week after her labor had begun. Afterwards, Serafina began leaking urine and feces.
When she was 18, someone told Serafina and her family about a mission hospital called Evangelical Medical Center of Lubango (CEML). They brought Serafina to the hospital, and doctors there discovered that she in fact had several fistulas and her uterus had been completely removed during the C-section. Serafina was very nervous – she was completely out of her element in the hospital and no one spoke her language. She was comforted by the kindness of hospital staff and her family, however, and fellow fistula patients helped her to understand she was not alone.
Doctors at CEML performed a colostomy on Serafina, which she soon became very adept at caring for. Her colostomy was later reversed, and doctors were able to repair all of her fistulas! Serafina is now dry, and hospital staff report that she nearly jumped out of bed with joy when she was finally discharged.
- Population: 20,172,332
- Average Births per Woman: 5.31
- Female Literacy: 60.7%
- Population Living in Poverty: 40.5% (less than $1.25/day)