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“We know today that having fistula is not the end of the world” Habibou — Fistula Survivor, Burkina Faso

Success Stories

Eunice was delivering her third child when she developed a devastating fistula. She suffered continuous, uncontrollable incontinence and as a result was ostracized by her community. Deeply ashamed, she led a secluded life with her children.
Agnes A
Agnes was only 14 years old when her parents offered her for marriage. She soon had 3 children and it was while delivering her 4th baby that her labor became obstructed and prolonged. Agnes' baby died and she suffered an obstetric fistula.
At the tender age of 14, Vicky became pregnant by her then 20-year-old boyfriend. Vicky and her peers lacked women’s health or sex education. Her friends said skipping periods was normal. After her first trimester, a test confirmed Vicky’s pregnancy.
Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, 37 year-old Nathalie lived happily near Ouagadougou with her husband and 4 children. Things changed dramatically when she was expecting her fifth child.
Agnes suffered from a prolonged labor and her baby did not survive. During pregnancy, she developed a slight tear. Although her second pregnancy led to a healthy baby girl, Agnes’s fistula had worsened and she began leaking urine uncontrollably.
Burkina Faso
Habibou developed a fistula while laboring in Bobo-Dioulasso (Bobo), Burkina Faso. She lost her baby. For five long months, she suffered the embarrassment of her leaking fistula while she searched for a cure. She was referred to ARENA in Ouagadougou.
She’s a proud mom, a trained Safe Motherhood advocate, and an obstetric fistula survivor. Mwajuma beams with confidence now, but it wasn’t long ago that many in her village called her a “curse.”
Sarah Omega, the founder and Executive Director of LEFI, shares her journey with fistula and how this childbirth injury changed her life completely.
Her baby was stillborn. Three days after the surgery she began leaking urine. Florence had developed a fistula and was referred to our local partners at Terrewode.
After two successful surgeries for fistulas, Basalirwa worked with Terrewode social workers for social reintegration support. The economic empowerment sessions inspired her to launch a small business.
Tsahara was an average teenager living in Niger with her parents and attending school, but at 16 her parents decided she should marry. Niger’s rate of child marriage is 75%: the highest in the world. Tsahara dropped out of school and by 17, she was pregnant.
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