One Woman's Story: Loice from Kenya
Loice Masikonte is a young Maasai woman from Narok County, Kenya where early marriage, teenage
pregnancy, and home deliveries are the norm. However, after living through the horrors of obstetric fistula, Loice is determined to create a better future for herself and the women in her community.
Loice was orphaned at a young age, and moved in with an uncle who forbade her from going to school. She was married off to an older man at the age of 17, and began bearing children right away. Her third pregnancy ended in a traumatic, obstructed labor that lasted for two days. Miraculously, her baby survived—but Loice was left with a complex fistula, and began leaking stool uncontrollably.
After ten years of suffering, Loice finally connected with a community health worker from Fistula Foundation, and was referred to a hospital in our countrywide treatment network. The surgery was successful, and Loice’s continence was restored!
Today, Loice is a thriving member of her community. She attends monthly support group meetings with fellow fistula survivors, and is training to become a hairdresser to provide for her family. Loice has also become a passionate advocate for maternal health in her village, and makes sure to speak to every customer in the beauty salon about obstetric fistula. Loice is so outspoken, that the women around her now lovingly call her “Mama Fistula.” Thanks to Loice’s advocacy, six women have been referred for fistula treatment!