Obstetric fistula is a severe medical condition which is brought about by a hole developing in the birth canal. It is a very serious problem that women face, especially those living in poor and disadvantaged countries, where a good number of these women give birth without any medical help administered to them. Usually, the mother experiences excruciating and prolonged labor and in most cases, the baby never gets to survive. The mother’s life too is at risk! The prolonged labor causes the mother’s muscle tissues to tear resulting to uncontrollably leaking of body wastes hence the term “Obstetric Fistula”.
This condition is estimated to affect over 2 million women and this includes young girls. What is even more shocking is that, these numbers keep escalating by the day. Fistula can occur when good care is not administered especially to those women who give birth at home, when the birth process is spearheaded by traditional healers, and when women give birth at a tender/early age.
Most (if not all) of the women with fistula suffer rejection from their families and the community at large. The psychological and social consequences can be very devastating and so, these women end up keeping to and isolating themselves due to the embarrassment that comes with the condition.
However, there’s good news to all women/girls out there! In up to 90% of cases, fistula can be surgically repaired…meaning, fistula is treatable/preventable and so this would restore our women’s dignity!