Today I watched a program on fistula surgeries in Ethiopia. It was heartbreaking. HEART.BREAK.ING. It was hard to watch. Basically, my understanding from the film was that these women often get married very young. When they become pregnant and then go into labor, because of malnutrition and other factors, their pelvises can be too small for the baby to be born. They are in labor for days and the baby dies. The tragedy does not end there. They then sometimes develop something called a fistula which causes them to be incontinent, either leaking urine or feces, or both. Their husbands often disown them and they are forced to live outside of their villages. Because of their stench, they are shunned by their communities.
There are surgeons working in Ethiopia who can fix these fistulas. In 93% of the cases, the women are "cured" and are able to return to their villages and are integrated back into their communities. They are given their lives back. Each surgery costs around $450. Currently these surgeons are performing around 1,500 surgeries/year. Yet, over 100,000 women remain affected by this condition in Ethiopia alone.
If you are interested in reading more about fistulas and fistula surgeries in Ethiopia, click here
If you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, click here.