Today is the last day of the GlobalGiving Girls Fund Campaign. Thank you so much to all who have given in support of our efforts to empower women and girls recovering from obstetric fistula in Tanzania. If you have not yet had a chance to give, you can do that here for women like Sauda.
When Sauda went into labor for her third child at home, much time passed without any progress, so her husband rushed her to the nearest local hospital. At the hospital, she was examined by a nurse who told her to be patient as she would deliver ‘anytime’.
“I then waited for nine hours without being attended,” Sauda says. “I became so tired and weak. I could not feel any movement of my child in the womb.” It soon became clear that Sauda’s delivery was more complicated than originally thought – and that these complications could not be managed by the team at this facility. “After those nine hours the nurse didn’t think she had capacity to help me anymore and gave me a referral to another hospital. When I arrived at the next hospital, the doctor told me to wait because there was another patient in the operating room.”
With all available operating rooms in use, and no other facilities available for an emergency delivery, Sauda continued to wait. When Sauda was eventually taken into surgery, her baby was delivered via Caesarean section. Tragically, it was too late: her baby had already passed away. Sauda was then taken to the ICU for four days where she remained unconscious. “When I woke up I asked the nurse, where is my child? It was then that I found out it was stillborn.”
The heartbreak of losing her child at birth was only compounded when Sauda realized she was leaking urine steadily. The doctors told her she had fistula. “When they mentioned to me that I had fistula, CCBRT came into my mind,” Sauda says. “I remembered hearing that they treated fistula, but I did not memorize the numbers to call.”
One day, Sauda’s brother-in-law – who had been to CCBRT Disability Hospital to get a prosthetic device for his child – told them he had the phone number of a doctor who worked at CCBRT. He made the call, and after three months - once she had recovered from her C-section – Sauda visited CCBRT for treatment.
Today, she has received repair surgery and is recovering.
Sauda wants to help others get the care she did. “I would like to be an ambassador and explain to other fistula victims what I have gone through, so that they are aware of fistula and where to get free treatment. They should not feel discriminated against and should not isolate themselves from society.”
Thanks to your generosity, and the generosity of like minded partners, CCBRT is able to train hundreds of maternal healthcare workers each year, improving the capacity of medical facilities to manage complications so expectant mothers like Sauda do not face life threatening delays.
The Kupona Team
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