The dress ceremony at the Danja Fistula Center was held on August 16th. It was a joyous conclusion to two weeks of surgery and recovery. The women were given beautiful new dresses, which symbolize their new life and the end of their long and often discouraging journey with obstetric fistula.
The ceremony was held in the ward. The women paraded in and sang, clapped and danced around the audience, which consisted of their family members and all the doctors, nurses and local staff who made this happy occasion possible.
Halima is our oldest patient, a short crinkly woman who loves to dance. She is always the first one dancing whenever music is playing, shaking her hips with a big smile on.
With a beautiful smile and constant chatter, Saimsa exudes warmth and confidence. Despite her sunny disposition, this 26-year-old has suffered from obstetric fistula for seven years.
Since her first two pregnancies resulted in stillbirths, Saimsa knew it was important to give birth in a medical center the next time she was pregnant. So for her third pregnancy, at the first sign of labor, she went to a clinic early in the morning and was in labor all day. By nightfall, her attendant told her the birth was not possible and referred her to the Maradi clinic. Halfway there, during the middle of the night, her taxi broke down. Still having contractions, she was stranded by the road until she could find another taxi in the morning. By the time she made it to Maradi, her baby was dead. She had a manual removal of the stillborn. After the procedure, she discovered she was incontinent. She had a fistula between her bladder and vagina.