Meet Vitasoa

Vitasoa is from the village of Manja, approximately 250km from the nearest city, Morondava. She developed fistula during the birth of her first child.

Vitasoa's Story

Vitasoa and her husband had been excited to welcome their baby into the world. But, things did not go as planned. When the time came for her to deliver, her labor lasted three days. Finally, she was taken to a local hospital, Manja Hospital, for a C-section to remove the baby, which did not survive.

Vitasoa soon discovered that she had begun to leak urine. As a result of her prolonged labor, she had developed an obstetric fistula.

Her husband divorced her because of the injury, telling her that he no longer considered her to be a “good woman.” With nowhere else to go, she moved in with her mother.

She met another man, and Vitasoa was able to successfully deliver two children, who live with her today. But she longed for the day she could finally be free of the burden of her obstetric fistula.

About Madagascar

  • 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)
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Read Another Woman’s Story

  • Landy

    Madagascar

    Landy became pregnant at 14 years old. When it came time to deliver, she labored at home as most women do in her village. But after a day of excruciating pain, her labor did not progress and her family took her to the village hospital. The baby did not survive.

  • Solange

    Madagascar

    Solange spent the majority of her teenage years suffering from obstetric fistula.

  • Hauwa

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    Hauwa was 60 years old when she became aware that the fistula she had suffered with for over 40 years could be repaired for free at our partner hospital, Evangel Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center (EVFC).

  • 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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    Jane and Elizabeth

    Kenya

    After suffering five miscarriages, Jane prepared to deliver her first child. But two days of difficult labor left Jane with an obstetric fistula. At home, she became traumatized by isolation and mistreatment from her husband, who had taken another wife. Her sister, Elizabeth, stepped in.

  • Rahila

    Guinea

    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.

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    Margaret

    Kenya

    Margaret is 36 years old and from a very remote village in southwestern Kenya. In this area, child marriage and polygamy are very common. At 16 years old, Margaret’s parents arranged for her to become the third wife of a man more than three times her age. She tried to resist, but eventually gave in to the marriage due to pressure from her family and community.

  • Alphonsia

    Tanzania

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

  • Rose

    Madagascar

    Rose developed obstetric fistula at the age of 16, during her first delivery. Life became very difficult for her, in a number of ways. She is not married, and her father is dead. Survival became a challenge.

  • Salha

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    Salha had a complicated and prolonged labor before she was finally brought to a hospital in the Mtwara region of Tanzania. There she received an emergency C-section section, but it was too late. Tragically, Salha’s baby had already died. A few days later, Salha realized she was leaking urine.

  • Zeinabou

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    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.

  • Awetu

    Tanzania

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

  • Bategna

    Madagascar

    Bategna is from the village of Marerano, 300km from the nearest city, Morondava. As a girl, she attended primary school, but only for a short time. She lived a happy life, until she developed obstetric fistula.

  • Janet

    Kenya

    Janet can't explain how she ended up at the political rally that day, but it changed her life forever.

  • Sokhina

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    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.

  • Harka Maya

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    A mother of two, Harka Maya lives in Sindhuli, Nepal, roughly 80 miles (129 km) from Kathmandu. She developed a fistula last summer, while in labor with her third child. Being from a poor farming family, it was customary for her to deliver at home.

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    Blandine was so happy to be free of her fistula, that "she honestly couldn't stop laughing, which was so heartwarming!"