Devastated Zimbabwe Women Fully Recover After Free Fistula Operations

Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye
22.12.2015 01:45

WASHINGTON— More than 60 women from different parts of Zimbabwe were successfully treated for fecal and bladder incontinence brought on by fistula.

The operations were done under a campaign sponsored by the Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA), Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, the Ministry of Health and the United Nations.

The WAHA program that co-sponsored the surgeries is part of a five-year national campaign to end obstetric fistula in Zimbabwe.

The Women and Health Alliance International, in conjunction with Chinhoyi provincial hospital, the Ministry Of Health and the United Nations, has concluded their last obstetric fistula operation campaign in Zimbabwe this year at Chinhoyi hospital.

Fortunate Mabhande, national outreach coordinator with Women Health Alliance International, said, "We operated on 58 women in the last campaign that just ended in Chinhoyi and we hope to start another campaign in the first quarter of next year.”

The organisation assists women throughout the country, providing free transportation, boarding, consultations and surgeries conducted by international doctors.

An obstetric fistula is a serious internal organ injury sustained during child birth, leaving women with urinary and fecal incontinence.

A patient, who got corrective surgery for free from the Women Health Alliance International, Fredisca Mangara said her life has now returned back to normal as she is now enjoying intimacy with her husband, something she couldn’t do before the surgery.

"I lived with obstetric fistula for 10 years and thanks to the Women Health Alliance I received free surgery and now I feel like a woman after the stigma I received from those who did not understand the disease," said Mungara, who lives in Beitbridge, Matabeleland South province.

Mabhande urged those suffering from this condition to contact her organization and schedule appointments.

"We work with women from various ages and for some that are affected due to early child marriages we do follow-ups and ensure that they have a bright future ahead as some even decide to go back to school and we offer them our support.

"For others this surgery can totally change their lives as many are stigmatized especially in areas where there is no knowledge of the disease.”

Audio: Interview with Fortunate Mabhande