Women living with obstetric fistula urgently need your support

Will you please help them?

Women living with obstetric fistula urgently need
your support

Will you please help them?

 

You can help end years of needless suffering for women like Justina

Too many women are living with obstetric fistula, in desperate need of support and access to treatment.

The condition, caused by prolonged pressure of the baby’s head on the birth canal during childbirth, can result in pain and incontinence.

Living in poverty and unaware that treatment is possible, women like Justina are left to suffer, many living with obstetric fistula for years. Some are shunned by their community and even their family, who don't understand what is causing the hygiene problems.

The impact on their lives is devastating. But you can help women like Justina access the treatment and support they need.

Trigger warning: Please be aware that Justina's story below references depression, suicide and the loss of children in childbirth.

Justina's story

Justina is 18, and lives in rural Nigeria, West Africa. She developed obstetric fistula after a long and complicated labour with her first child. The condition is caused by prolonged pressure of the baby’s head on the birth canal, resulting in an internal hole that causes incontinence, and is more common in places without good maternal healthcare.

Living in poverty and not aware that treatment is possible, women like Justina are left in pain, leaking urine and sometimes faeces. As with many women suffering the same condition, Justina was also trying to come to terms with the loss of her baby at the same time. The sad result was a period of depression and, tragically, a suicide attempt.

Thankfully, Justina came across another woman who had the same problem and who was due to have obstetric fistula surgery. She found out help was available and she was not alone.

Sadly, Justina’s story isn’t rare. Nigeria has one of the lowest levels of maternal and new-born health in the world. It is estimated that 150,000 women and girls are living with obstetric fistula in the country, and around 13,000 more women develop it every year.

Justina was able to access treatment and is now a Community Champion, helping to raise awareness of obstetric fistula. She has experienced first-hand the pain of feeling alone and traumatised, and knows that she can help bring hope to others by sharing her story and sharing the news that help is available.

Community champions at the Survive Fistula Healthcare Foundation in Nigeria, wearing t-shirts saying 'Ask Me' to help raise awareness and encourage other women to seek help.

Justina (far right) with her fellow Community Champions

You can help ensure women do not face the pain Justina went through.

Your support today can improve access to quality maternal and new-born health services for women living in the world's poorest places. You will be helping to to train women with lived experience of obstetric fistula, like Justina, to be Community Champions raising awareness and tackling stigma and discrimination in their communities.

Together, we can fund surgery to cure women forever. Your donation can also help train more health workers in antenatal care and emergency obstetric and new-born care to improve maternal healthcare in Nigeria, so that women are less likely to develop this devastating condition.

This vital work cannot happen without your help. The difference it can make to women like Justina, who will find out help is available and get better care and support, will last a lifetime.

 

By sending your gift today, you are helping to support women and saving them from years of pain and unhappiness. Thank you.

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Christian Blind Mission UK is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1058162, and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as charity number SC041101.

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