Fistula stigmatizes a women than any other problem

Lily Habesha
Posted May 23, 2018 from Ethiopia
Beautiful Ruhama
When you expect to have some little one to warm your home and your marriage, to develop fistula and lose your marriage and all your happiness is so unfair.
Children shouldn't die
Children shouldn't die : They give a lot of beauty to this world. (1/1)

I know most of us smile when we see small children. Their sweet smile, their cute faces, the funniest way of exploring things and the way they narrate their stories make everybody laugh.

 In my birth place or in my country Ethiopia, everybody loves children. We give a child a kiss on the cheek, on the forehead or their little hands and give blessings everywhere we go. Some people even carry sweets when they go places to give a child and make them feel loved or special just in case they meet children where they are going.

When I lived 40 months in Nairobi, when people saw a group of people greeting children whom they don’t even know and give a kiss, the Kenyans were saying; “They must be Ethiopians.”

The love and the strong attachment with children in Ethiopia is very different. In a country where everybody adores a child, to get married and not to have a child would be kind of sad. We say, “The house without children is very cold.”

We lost many women struggling to give birth. This is very sad too.

I know, many of us are not even heard about fistula in our lives. It might be a forgotten agenda in the most part of our world. But in Africa and Asia there are women who are suffering from fistula.

Fistula is a hole in a woman’s body which happens through prolonged labor. Most of the women who married early before their body was not ready enough to conceive and give birth naturally in the remote villages are the victims. Because they don’t have hospital close to their huts, they lose their children. After they got fistula, they can’t control their urine and fesses. Their body smells. Husbands dumped them in their parents’ place. When parents got embarrassed with a smelling girl who is left by her husband, they put her in a shack. She will be given food there, because she is cursed or possessed by some spirit she has to stay alone. Some slept by one of their sides and became paralyzed. Some became lame and others are walking with support. Fistula stigmatizes a women than any other problem.

Last year I went to celebrate Christmas with them at Hamlin Fistula Hospital. Some of them were carrying the bags to contain urine. Others were running every now and then to pee by the gate. When I was walking in the room to take pictures, I stepped on urine.

Which woman can afford sitting in big ceremony passing urine? As a woman, we all need to dress up and carry ourselves and enjoy ourselves everywhere we go whether it is a party or to attend church services.

But, our sisters living with fistula are wearing pajamas, covered with blankets, put on head dress…etc. to celebrate Christmas. They don’t miss a child in their marriage only. The husband left them, they lost their children they bear for 9 months, their families throw them out and they are forgotten by the community.

WHAT A LOSS!!!

My heart cries out every time I went to visit their rehabilitation centre. Thanks to Dr. Hamlin for being there for them. I want to appreciate the most loving staff members of Hamlin Hospital and Yedesta Mender(Village of happiness/ Hamlin Rehab) for giving them love and cherish the patients. They really make them feel at home. I love both compounds. I wish I’m allowed to live there. It is a paradise.

On this day, I write this short article about them. I ask the whole world today, to pay attention to fistula patients and to support them in every way they need.

Brigender Gap Global is founded by Stella Mofor. This initiative is based in Cameroon and trying to help fistula patients In West and East African nations. Hopefully BGG will reach all African fistula victims.

Today is World Fistula Day. Let's do something to create awareness to stop child marriage, because it is one of the causes. let us work together to build more fistula centers in different countries and support women who suffer from fistula and it's stigma. 

This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.

Comments 6

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  • Olutosin
    May 23
    May 23

    This is a very sad story. This happens in Northern Nigeria too. When I look at the baggage burden of women and girls, I feel depressed. It's really sad what many women are passing through, thanks so much for the lot you are doing in Ethiopia. May you be blessed.

    And to all the good people who are working in this area and others who are working in various capacities to support women and girls, may they remain blessed too. Amen.

    I am anxiously waiting for that day when a woman or girl's body will belong to her and she will be able to take absolute decision on issues concerning her and her children.

  • Lily Habesha
    May 24
    May 24

    That day should come faster. Woman in this world suffering a lot. Naturally, socialy, economocally...etc. We pray that day to come.
    Until then, let us fight for our rights.

    Thank you

    Lily

  • jlanghus
    May 23
    May 23

    Amen, Lily. You have such a true, big heart, hon:) Thanks for sharing your story and bringing awareness to fistulas, Stella's NGO, and the Hamlin compounds. This is such a sad condition and so unnecessary and preventable. I'm so appreciative for not only Dr. Hamlin but also of you and Stella for not only your big hearts, but all the work you to do help these forgotten women.

  • Lily Habesha
    May 24
    May 24

    Hi Jill,
    Thank you for the credit you gave us. We are just trying to help and to create awareness. Fistula is curable, people think it is a curse and throw the women with fistula away.
    We will keep doing what we can.

    Thank you
    Lily

  • jlanghus
    May 24
    May 24

    Hi Lily:) You're very welcome! Yes, and you are:) Too sad. Please do. These women need you....onward and upward!

  • Hello, Lily,

    First, I want to honor you for your selfless service. Every time I read your World Pulse stories, you always bring a new advocacy, and I admire you for paying attention to the world and to the women who are suffering from it. And now there is Fistula.

    You are so brave for being present in roads less traveled. Your heart must have been broken many times being a firsthand witness to these hardships. Thank you for visualising the struggles of these woman, and for raising their voices in this platform.

    May you have access to resources that could help improve their lives. May they find healing in this lifetime. Amen.