The Rohingya refugee crisis continues to devastate lives in Southeast Asia. Hundreds of thousands have poured into Bangladesh, fleeing intense persecution in Myanmar. Cosmopolitan recently published the story of Sayeda Begum, a refugee who experienced a traumatic childbirth and a horrifying journey through the Rohingya crisis. Fleeing for her life while suffering from fistula, Sayeda…
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.
- 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)