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Women’s fistula stories from Uganda

Kitovu Health Care Complex is a Catholic mission hospital situated in the Masaka region of southern Uganda. Under the leadership of Honorary Fellow of the RCOG, Dr Maura Lynch, the hospital hosts four fistula camps per year, led by Mr Shane Duffy FRCOG who also led the first emergency newborn and obstetric care course at Kitovu in March 2014.


Harriet“I went to the clinic in the village to have a baby but I pushed for about nine hours. My baby died. After I went home the urine started dropping. I didn’t feel that I had to go, but the urine just dropped out. I spent my time all day pardoning myself.

“I carried on my job as a teacher but I would have reached a time where I couldn’t have carried on because I kept having to pardon myself to pad myself and it became sore. My husband was very patient about it, but I worried that if I couldn’t get this operation, I could lose my job and my husband.”

Harriet was treated at Kitovu and has gone on to have four healthy babies.


Christine“I was very depressed losing my baby but the urine was worse. I was having to cope with padding myself and my skin being burnt. It was only after I had my operation that my mind went to my baby. I would have been more joyful about being cured if my baby had been alive.”

Christine had a fistula operation 5 years ago at Kitovu and has recently given birth to a healthy baby girl.


Florence“I was in labour for five days. When I reached the hospital I was told by a nurse not to push, the nurse never came back and there was no one in the hospital to help. In the end I had to push on my own but my baby was stillborn.

“I realised straight away something was wrong because when I went to the ward I was wet. I was confused and couldn’t understand what was wrong. I spent a lot of money trying to treat myself but I was wet for five years. I felt like committing suicide.

“I heard an advert for the fistula camp at Kitovu on the radio. After I was cured I felt like giving everything to the nurses because I felt so good. But I have nothing to give, so instead, if I see someone with the same problem I tell them about my experience and tell them to come here and be cured.”

Florence went on to give birth to two healthy girls.

Find out more about the RCOG's work at Kitovu fistula clinic.

Read more stories from women who have suffered from fistula

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