Join us as we walk side by side with women living with fistula
Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Tuesday 16th May 2017
We recently told you about the midwife, Emebet, at Hamlin Fistula Hospital, below is the sotry of her patient Aregu Udessa.
Aregu is from a pastoralist community who are known for their nomadic lifestyle, people who travel long distances in search for food and water for themselves and their animals. She married young and fell pregnant at 17. Her family were delighted. As is tradition in her culture, her mother stayed with her throughout her long, five day labour at home. Tragically, it ended in a stillbirth and serious injury to her bladder, due to a large fistula. For many months after this, Aregu lived in isolation – separate from her husband, mother, friends and neighbours. She leaked urine constantly and grieved quietly for the loss of her child.
During a door to door malaria campaign, extension workers discovered Aregu hunched over in pain and hiding in the darkness of her hut. They realised she was suffering with a severe fistula injury, and brought her to the Yiragalem centre for treatment. Here Aregu met Emebet and this is where her life began to get better. Through the patience and care of her midwife, surgeon and counsellor that Aregu started to realise that she was not cursed, she was worth treating and the importance of giving birth with a medical professional present. Aregu has been learning weaving, which she intends to make into a small business when she leaves the centre. She will attend the local health centre for the birth of her next baby.
She told us: You gave my life back and made me a woman again. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish you a long, happy life - as I now believe I will have.’
With your gift of just £40, Ethiopiaid can fund midwives like Emebet and help more women, women like Aregu.