Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories : Baindu


Baindu is a sixty-year-old widow from Kailahun District in the East of Sierra Leone.  Baindu grew up in a rural village where her family were farmers.  Having never been to school she cannot read or write but spent her life working on her family farm, something she learnt from her older siblings and parents.

While Mama Baindu was pregnant she experienced severe pains.  With no medically trained doctor or nurse in her village, or surrounding villages, she went to the traditional birth attendant nearby for advice.  The attendant explained to help get the baby out, Baindu should place a cooking spoon inside her mouth.  Unfortunately for Baindu, when her baby did finally come out, it was stillborn.  Since this time (over twenty years ago), Mama Baindu has been suffering from incontinence.

Mama Baindu has been a patient at AWC four times previously, undergoing surgery each time.  Her most recent and final admission at AWC was in the March 2020 Fistula Camp, where the surgeon tried to repair the tissue around her fistula, that kept breaking. Unfortunately for Baindu, her fistula is unable to be fully repaired.  She has seen a vast improvement though and now only leaks urine slightly.

When Mama Baindu recovered from her surgery and was told she would not be fully healed, she was sad. Usually a very happy and smiley fistula patient, AWC staff saw a noticed decline in her mood.  AWC Programs Manager, who had made good friends with Mama Baindu, decided to counsel her 1:1 once a day for a week to help improve her mood.

After a week of regular chats, Baindu’s mood improved.  Baindu decided to become a AWC Fistula Ambassador, so that she could try and help other women in her condition be cured or see a vast improvement in their condition, as she has done.

On 25th March, Mama Baindu sang and danced with twenty-one other women in their Gladi Gladi ceremony.  This will be Baindu’s last Gladi Gladi with AWC, as she will not return for any more surgeries.  However, she left with a Fistula Ambassador ID card, t-shirt, top up credit for her phone and a new cap – something she had been talking about since her first day at AWC.

I thank Aberdeen Women Centre for their support to me over the years, especially Alexandra who has been a great support system to me. I thank everyone who has shared my pain at this time and tried to raise my mood, including the nurses.  I say thank you very much for everything.