Meet Sokhina

Sokhina endured four days of excruciating labor before delivering a stillborn baby. But her nightmare was just beginning: soon after she began to leak urine and learned that she had an obstetric fistula. She suffered with this injury for eight years before learning that help was available.

Sokhina's Story

When Sokhina became pregnant, she was aided by a traditional birth attendant, as the women in her family had done before. As labor progressed, Sokhina was in great pain but the birth attendant assured her she was fine. After four days of excruciating labor, the birth attendant realized the birth was too complicated and left Sokhina to deliver on her own. After convincing her husband to take her to a hospital, she delivered a stillborn baby.

Soon after, she began to leak urine. Her husband left her to take a second wife because he could not stand the smell of Sokhina’s incontinence. Friends and family stopped visiting. For eight years, Sokhina lived a life of shame and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into this world.

Then she learned about HOPE Hospital for Women & Children of Bangladesh, which provides fistula repair surgeries free of charge thanks to support from Fistula Foundation. Successful surgery completely transformed Sokhina’s life. Today, she is dry and once again in high spirits, hopeful about her future.

About Bangladesh

  • Population: 168,957,745
  • Average Births per Woman: 2.45
  • Female Literacy: 58.5%
  • Population Living in Poverty: 43.3% (less than $1.25/day)
Read More

We’re Making a Difference in Bangladesh


Hope Hospital – A Lighthouse for Fistula Patients in Remote Bangladesh

Fistula Foundation is proud to support the work of our partners at the Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh. By Dr. Tareq Salahuddin Cox’s Bazar Women and Children’s Hospital — a project of Hope Foundation serves the people living in remotest area of Bangladesh. In some specialised services like fistula operation, they provide…


The Face of HOPE

Meet Dr. Iftikher Mahmood, founder of the HOPE Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh. We have proudly funded his work since 2010; his hospital is the only facility in southern Bangladesh providing fistula treatment. Watch our interview with him to learn more about our partnership and his life-changing work.

Read Another Woman’s Story

  • pushpa



    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.
  • 04_Kaudha_post-surgery



    Kaudha is from eastern Uganda. She developed a fistula after spending hours in labor with her third child. Unfortunately, the baby did not survive, and Kaudha’s condition left her feeling isolated from friends and loved ones. But in fall 2015, her story—and her outlook—changed dramatically.
  • Betty



    Betty developed fistula during her first pregnancy, after laboring at home for seven days. Her baby did not survive. Today, she is healthy once again thanks to free surgery provided through the Action on Fistula program.
  • Fatma



    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.
  • maryama fistula foundation



    Zeinabou comes from a village 100 miles north of Danja, Niger. She was married and became pregnant while still in her teens. As is the local custom, Zeinabou planned to deliver her baby at home because maternity services are not easily accessible.
  • Evelyn



    “It was so painful to leave the hospital with the few clothes I had bought for my baby. It was painful to walk out of the gates empty handed [without a baby] and to worsen the matter, with the leaking of urine."
  • Queen



    “When my husband saw the many health issues I had, he despised me, he called me names and always told me in the face that I was more than crippled.” She was left on her own and most of the time starving. She reached at a point that she could not withstand the mistreatment and she went back to her parents. After a few years her parents died. “I walk like a crippled woman, there is nothing that I own on this earth, I don’t have a husband, I don’t have a baby. My life is so empty.” She has said that her deepest desire has been to die a clean woman. But at Gynocare, where she received fistula surgery through the Action on Fistula program, she is happy. Here, she feels loved and valued. She knows she has a family at Gynocare.
  • 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.
  • Umuhoza, a recovering fistula patient at CHUK



    Umuhoza arrived at the hospital with two massive fistulas and could barely walk. She was so traumatized by her labor that she could not remember any details. Today she is healed, but the road to recovery has been long and difficult.
  • Fistula Foundation - Kamala



    Kamala is a 47 year old mother of four and from a very remote area of western Nepal known as Dailekh. She lived with fistula for eight years, but thankfully is one of few patients who had the support of her husband the entire time.
  • 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.
  • mark-faus-ceml-fistula-2016-7-min



    Living in a small village in central Angola, Florinda was married in her teens and became pregnant at 16. Without access to emergency obstetric care, her difficult delivery caused her to develop a fistula. But today, she is smiling again.
  • Annet Jane

    Annet Jane


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



    Rahila never had the opportunity to attend school; instead, she sells donuts in the market and farms for a living. She married at age 14 and became pregnant soon thereafter. Unfortunately, Rahila developed obstetric fistula during delivery and was left leaking urine and feces.
  • Annonciata website



    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.
  • Flavia



    Flavia is a shy 17 year old girl who was married when she was just 15. Soon after, she became pregnant. Her labor began at home, but the family was unprepared when the labor became obstructed. Not knowing what to do, they finally took her to a hospital.
  • Helen 1



    Helen went into labor with her second child about four years ago. She gave birth in her home, where she labored for many hours, completely alone without anyone present to assist her. Her baby was stillborn and she began leaking urine immediately.
  • Alitash



    Alitash is 56 years old and lives in a small village about 50 kilometers east of Aira, a large town in western Ethiopia. She has given birth three times – her first two children died as teenagers, and the third was stillborn.

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