I do this work through a Christian Blind Mission (cbm) partner in Dar Es Salaam called CCBRT – a hospital known as Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania.
At CCBRT, our partner hospital in Dar es Salaam, one of the most horrible conditions women suffer from is called fistula. It’s a truly distressing disability and can happen after a prolonged childbirth, when the baby gets stuck and the resulting pressure in the birth canal causes a tear. It is much more likely in some of the world’s poorest places that don’t have good maternal care. Tragically, the baby often dies. And the devastated mother becomes incontinent, forever leaking urine or stools. Yet many women in Tanzania do not know there is a cure for fistula and live with the condition for years, even decades.
Editha’s first child had died in childbirth. After her terrible grief she felt greatly blessed and overjoyed to give birth to a healthy daughter. But she said, “With my third birth, I had a long labour that lasted three days.” And yet again she had the face the devastation of losing her child…
Since that day eight years ago, Editha has leaked urine constantly. If you or someone you know has experienced incontinence, you know how important it is that it can be dealt with in privacy.
Editha was left feeling isolated and lonely.
The only bright side in this sad story is that her husband has stayed by her side, when many husbands abandon their wives and leave them to face this awful condition alone. “I thank God that my husband and I have stayed together…”
Editha and her husband grow a small crop and sunflowers to sell, but she explained it isn’t enough to live on, and they struggle to survive. So she also sells refreshments, wrapping a garment called a kanga about her, which conceals the bucket she sits on for hours on end to collect her leaking urine.
In Tanzania, a “Health Mama” is a trained community outreach worker who travels through rural areas to try and find isolated women like Editha. The “Health Mama” came through Editha’s village with leaflets explaining how fistula can be cured through specialist surgery. Relying on gifts like yours, she arranged to cover Editha’s bus fare to our partner hospital, and she was soon on her way to receive free treatment.
At our partner hospital the majority of women treated have their fistula cured. Please help reach more women like Editha with a monthly gift today. In Tanzania alone, around 20,000 women live day to day with this condition and its humiliating consequences. But you can give a woman her life back, freeing her from the pain of exclusion and disabling incontinence.