3.14.2009

Fistula Surgeries


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
or here.

If you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, click here.


6 comments:

  1. We have donated to "The Fistula Foundation" before many times-what a wonderful organization-it makes me want to be a Doctor and donate my services. What amazing people.
    Very very sad how these women live in Africa-it tears my heart up every time i see or read these stories.
    Thanks for getting the word out!
    nicole

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  2. Utterly heartbreaking....thank you for making me aware of this....a friend of mine had just inquired if we knew of a worthy cause for her organization to fundraise for in this coming year.....I think this will be it!

    AND sorry I missed your one year anniversary for your adoption journey! I love that you are halfway there and remain so upbeat and positive! I'm keeping you guys in my thoughts and HOPING that approval arrives today!!
    Happy Monday!

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  3. I have watched a documentary about fistula, too, and it broke my heart. The women feel so much shame ON TOP of the tragedy of losing their children. Thanks for posting this!!!

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  4. I have never heard of this...thank you for sharing.

    It IS heartbreaking and a reminder of just how good we have it here in this country. There are so many things we take for granted... It's wonderful there's an organization that tries their best to help these women out. I become so overwhelmed at times at to how much suffering there is in this world.

    Praying for things to speed up for you in your journey to your baby.

    God bless

    ~Tami

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  5. we visited the fistula hospital in addis. it was well worth it! you should plan a visit during your trip. you have to call in advance and schedule it. such a great ministry!

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