Why You Should Care

An Unknown Problem

p1

I never heard of fistula before I got one. I thought I was the only woman in the world leaking urine and feces. Now I know there are so many other girls and women with fistula!

It Can Happen to Any Woman

p2

Don’t think fistula is only a young girl’s problem. I got fistula when I was 29 years old. I am 54 now, and am so happy I will finally get surgery and be dry.

Being Ready

p3

I was prepared for my baby – I’d save some money, I knew where to go and my husband asked a neighbor to bring me there on his bicycle. All women in my village should have a plan like this.

Access to Health Services

p4

When my family realized I needed professional help, I had to walk four hours to the main road. There I waited for a bus, but only one passed and it was already full.

Professional Help

p5

I was lucky. I got to a hospital with a nurse and a doctor who took good care of me. But I know women from my village who have died during childbirth because no one could help them.

Unhealthy Practices

p6

” The nurse at the facility told me, ‘If you don’t pay Tshs 15,000 (US$15) you will never get a blood transfusion. If you have to die, better die.’ “

The Disgrace of Fistula

p7

” I feel shame. They laugh at me. They turn their lips up, and others leave the moment I enter to take my tea with them. “

Alone, but Not Neglected

p8

“My husband has paid for everything – the bus, the hospital, the medicines…. He saved my life, but it will take him years to pay back the loans.”

Precious Water

p9

” Imagine you have fistula. You have to walk six hours to get one bucket of water. Now, you have to decide how you are going to use the water – for washing, drinking, bathing, and cooking, or for yourself. “

Regaining Dignity

p10

” Now I can do anything, I can even run! “