In this area of Bangladesh 90% of women give birth at home with no medically trained assistance. After being in labor for days, the prolonged pushing can cause a fistula (hole) in their urinary tract/and or rectum. Continuous dribbling of urine/feces 24 hours a day makes life a misery for these women. Abandoned by husbands, family and friends due to the continuous stench of urine these women live isolated lives. They don't know that surgery is available, and they can get their lives back.
Women in rural Bangladesh give birth at home with only a family member or untrained birth helper present. Unable to recognize the signs of obstructed labor such as a large baby or breech birth, these poor women are instructed to push forcefully for hours or days. The baby dies in the womb. The constant pushing leaves a small hole in the urinary tract or rectum causing uncontrollable leaking of urine. These women, usually only teenagers suffer their whole lives unless they get surgery.
The fistula sufferers are marginalized and difficult to locate. They smell and are shunned by most people so do not interact much in society. WIth the large network of grassroots activism established by our hospital and local women, we are most able to locate fistula sufferers. We educate and inform the women, counsel them since many are traumatized from years of suffering and cannot believe that their condition can be cured. We provide surgery with help from The Fistula Foundation.
Some of the women have suffered from fistula for decades. The majority have been long abandoned by their husbands who take second wives. They lie in a corner of a room, dependent on relatives for food and shelter since no-one else wants to be around them due to the smell of rotting urine or feces. The surgery will give them their lives back and help them to achieve a level of dignity long denied to them. We will provide surgery and help in finding employment or training in a new career.
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