Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories: Gazetola


Gazetola was married at the age of 18 and for 30 years has lived with obstetric fistula.

It was her first pregnancy with her first husband she developed fistula. She had a prolonged labor and had no idea what to do. She went to the Traditional birth attendant (TBA) where she stayed for 5 days and the TBA was not able to deliver her baby. She then was taken to the hospital, but by the time the doctors operated on her, she had already sadly lost the baby. She noted she was leaking urine when she woke up from her operation. 

Gazetola suffered for so many years and visited many hospitals but was never treated. She gave up hope of ever being cured from this condition. To make matters worse her first husband left her and remarried another woman in her village. 

Over the years Gazetola met someone who accepted her the way she was and in 1996 Gazetola got remarried to her second husband, who gave her words of encouragement over the years. He loved her unconditionally and gave her all the support she needed.

In 2019, whilst she was attending a community gathering, she heard one of the hospital staff talking about fistula and was able to relate as she felt they were talking about her condition. After the gathering ended Gazetola asked for more information about the centre.

Gazetola came to the Fistula Care Centre the following month. She was operated on twice and her second operation was successful. Gazetola has been dry since 2021.

During the 30 years she had fistula she felt so alone, she was not able to move around in her village freely.  People in her village use to talk ill about her and did not want to be near her as they said she smelled.  Her own friends used to laugh at her and this made her depressed. She felt sad all the time. Now Gazetola is a happy woman, free from fistula and living her best life. She is enjoying doing the things she loved and missed.

During her stay at the centre Gazetola received a solar phone charging business unit which she has had for 4 years. It is still working and any money earned goes directly to feeding and taking care of her family. She is also paying school fees for her 4 step-children and has brought chickens and ducks. She is also growing maize and rice that she sells.

Gazetola was one of the lucky women to be selected to participate in the goat farming project. After receiving her 3 goats (2 females and 1 male) in 2022, one of the goats gave birth while the other goat is expecting to give birth to a kid at the end of February.  She has used the goat faeces for manure to grow her crops.

Gazetola wants to have more goats and hopes to sell some of them and use the money to build a safe house for her family and to expand her animal farm.

I am very grateful that FCC for healing me. I would like for FCC team to continue the good work they are doing. I never thought in a million years I would be dry. I was depressed and I thought of taking my own life. You saved my life.