Fistula Foundation

Fistula Foundation

Dorcas from Nigeria
Photo Caption
Dorcas gives a thumbs-up to donors and healthcare staff who transformed her life by providing her with free fistula repair surgery.
Photo Credit
Roshni Lodhia

Dorcas is a 50-year-old woman from Kogi State, Nigeria, who lived nearly half of her life with obstetric fistula. She developed the condition after enduring a prolonged, obstructed labor during the delivery of her first and only child. Fortunately, the baby survived the traumatic delivery. Much less fortunately, Dorcas now had to endure a decades-long ordeal marked by incessant leaking of urine.

“Life has not been easy with fistula, especially when my neighbors find joy in bad-mouthing my condition behind my back,” said Dorcas. “That is why my family and I [were] searching for a hospital that can completely treat and cure me.” The search finally ended in 2023, when Dorcas received free repair surgery at Evangel Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center, a partner of Fistula Foundation that is based in Jos, Nigeria.

According to Dorcas, the surgery has transformed her life. “I am grateful to this center for taking and treating me,” she said. “Before the surgery, my body was usually drenched in urine due to the leakage, but I thank God that I have been healed today. Now that I am well, I am free to go to church. I am free to go to the market. I am free to go anywhere I like.”

What is obstetric fistula?

Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury that happens when a woman has an obstructed labor, but cannot access emergency help, like a C-section. The result is a fistula. It will leave her incontinent – and, all too often, an outcast in her community. At Fistula Foundation, we believe that no woman should suffer a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world. The only treatment for fistula is surgery. And when it is done, it transforms their life. That’s why we’ve built a network of surgeons and hospitals providing fistula treatment to women in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia. A surgery that costs as little as $616 can give a woman the priceless gift of health.

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