Elina Shida Sultan is a 43-year-old mother of eight living in Kasangu, Kilifi County. She is very calm and composed during the interview. She successfully received corrective surgery on 28th March 2022 and is satisfied with the results so far.
In October 2020 Elina underwent a myomectomy. This is a surgical procedure to remove fibroids from the uterus. Elina had suffered from fibroids for 10 years. The procedure was going to relieve her of a lot of discomfort. She had anticipated living and enjoying improved quality of life. It had not crossed her mind that anything could go wrong. The procedure was successful however, after four months, she suffered vaginal fistula. She was unable to control her urine flow.
It was at this point that Elina discovered that she had suffered an injury during her procedure. She traversed Kilifi County seeking medical assistance to no avail. She took numerous pills prescribed to her hoping that she would get some relief, but nothing changed.
Elina was extremely unhappy. Her life had completely changed. She could not socialize with her friends and family members. She could not enjoy the little pleasures of life such as attending weddings, which are a grand occasion in the Mijikenda culture. She had to wrap herself in a polythene bag while going to bed to avoid soiling the bedding. This made it difficult for her to leave her home. Elina could also not continue carrying out her casual jobs. She was confined to being within her home. Lucky for her, her husband was very supportive. Despite not understanding what the problem was, he was by her side throughout her illness.
In a bid to get assistance, Elina spoke to a few women to inquire whether they had either experienced fistula or knew of it. Lucky for her, some of her friends had heard about the Flying Doctors Society of Africa’s medical camp that was to take place at Kilifi. To further affirm this, Elina heard the announcement of the camp on radio, and she purposed to attend.
On 28th March, Elina made her way to Kilifi County hospital where she was examined to confirm that she does qualify for the corrective surgery. On the same day, Elina went under the knife and the fistula repaired. She is feeling better and happy with the results.
Having successfully received surgery and is in the process of recovery, Elina is overjoyed at the promise her life now holds. She is excited to resume her social activities within her community. She says she cannot wait to be free again. She is grateful to the M-pesa Foundation, Flying Doctors Society of Africa and all the partners for the noble job they are doing. She urges other women with the condition not to shy away from seeking from help and sharing their plight as they do not know who may have a solution for them.