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…
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.
- 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)