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I Was Too Embarrassed To Share My Condition With Anyone

Mary Nyawira is a 65-year-old mother of three. She developed fistula in 2001 while delivering her first child. During her delivery, the attending doctors had to cut her to allow for an easier delivery. She suspects that at the time of suturing her, the doctor may have not completed the job. She, however, is not certain of this.

After delivery, she realized that she was not passing her stool normally. Instead of passing through the rectum, she would pass stool through both the rectum and vagina. To manage the situation, Mary was forced to wear sanitary pads to avoid soiling her clothes. She also had to thoroughly wash herself after relieving herself to avoid walking around with a stench.

She was embarrassed by her situation and did not dare reveal the condition to anyone. Despite having delivered two more times, she did not disclose her predicament to anyone, not even the doctors during her delivery.

In 2004, Mary concluded that what she was experiencing was not normal. Even then she was still too embarrassed to share her situation with anyone. She suffered in silence buried in shame and worry.

In 2019, Mary heard about a fistula medical camp over the radio and decided to visit the hospital in Nyeri. She was screened and diagnosed with fistula. Despite being an excellent candidate for the corrective surgery, she missed a spot as she had arrived late.

In 2021 while listening to the radio, she heard about the medical camp by Flying Doctors Society of Africa and purposed to attend. She travelled from her home in Karatina to Nyeri where the camp was being hosted. She arrived on the first day and was screened and scheduled for surgery. On 22nd November 2021, she successfully received corrective surgery.

Mary looks forward to making a full recovery. She urges other women to speak out and not suffer in silence. Despite not having much information about fistula, she further states that she will take it upon herself to inform women about condition. She is grateful to M-PESA Foundation and the Flying Doctors Society of Africa for the noble work that they are doing and prays for blessings upon them.

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