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I lived with fistula for 17 years

Taabu Kaingu is a 52-year-old mother of six living in Tezo, Kilifi County. She’s in high spirits but not too chatty while we conduct the interview. She successfully received corrective surgery on 28th March 2022 and is satisfied with the results so far.

When a baby comes into the world, it is a joyous occasion. There is often jubilation to welcome the newest member of the family. This was however not the case for Taabu when she delivered her baby in 2015. Taabu was expecting twins. Before the birth of the children, she was excited to receive her two bundles of joy. The joy was however short lived as her labour was marred with misfortune.

During labour, Taabu delivered the first child normally but unfortunately the child was still born. As if that was not enough, the second baby was not properly positioned to be delivered through natural birth forcing Taabu to undergo an emergency Caesarean section. During the procedure, there was a mistake and she developed vaginal fistula.

Unfortunately, Taabu has lived with this condition for 17 years. Because she had no proper understanding of her condition, she went on with her life and tried to accommodate the medical condition. She went on with her job as a casual labourer and tried to maintain her life as normal as possible. While her husband may have not abandoned her, he was not too concerned with her because he did not understand the condition.

Taabu was alive to the fact that she could not simply wish away the condition and tried to seek for medical help from different medical facilities, but nothing changed her situation. All she received were bags of medication which she took religiously but they offered her no permanent solution.

When the medical help bore no fruit, Taabu sought spiritual help and went for prayers to correct her condition. She still saw no change. She asked her friends and other women but none of them had a solution for her.

A week before the medical camp, while listening to the radio as she was going about her day, Taabu heard about the medical camp. She purposed to attend. 28th March 2022 will be a memorable day for Taabu as it is the day, she receives normalcy in her life. Her corrective surgery was successful.

Taabu is excited at the possibilities the future holds. She is grateful to the Flying Doctors Society of Africa. She also encourages women suffering from fistula to be bold and come out to seek help. She states that she will take it upon herself to empower women about fistula and encourage them to come forward.

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