RCOG Member Shirley Haywood works for International Nepal Fellowship (INF) and with scholarships from the RCOG she received training in surgery for complicated fistula in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda with Andrew Browning, a world renowned fistula surgeon. Since 2009 she has been organising a fistula repair camp in partnership with the Mid Western Regional Hospital.
Kali is 22 and has had fistula for 3 years since her second delivery. Her first baby survived but the second died during the prolonged difficult birth. Her husband has taken a second wife. Kali did her best to keep clean but her clothes were always wet with urine.
In 2014, Kali attended the fistula camp at Surkhet. Her surgery was successful and she returned home happy to begin a new life and tell other women how to avoid fistula and where to find help.
Danta Oti has had 14 babies but only 4 survived. The first childbirth was especially difficult. She was in labour for 8 days before she managed to deliver a stillborn baby. For the past 34 years, since that delivery, Danta Oti has suffered incontinence of urine.
In 2014, Danta Oti walked for 3 days from her home through the mountains to visit the new INF branch in Bajura. Her operation was successful and after 34 years Danta Oti is cured.
Bishnu Maya married in her teens and had one pregnancy. She laboured 4 days at home before the family carried her to the community hospital where a doctor delivered her baby with an instrument. The baby was dead and Bishnu was left with terrible injuries to her bladder and bowel, resulting in her leaking faeces and urine. She was turned out first by her husband’s family, and then by her own family. She lived this way for 12 years.
In 2014 a health worker who had been trained by an INF nurse to recognise fistula sufferers accompanied Bishnu to Surkhet. Bishnu has yet to be cured but for now, she has a supply of colostomy bags and has been provided with new clothes and the emotional support she needs.
Read more stories from women who have suffered with fistula