Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories: Linesi


Linesi was married at the age of 17 and during her first pregnancy developed an obstetric fistula. She lived with fistula for 3 years before coming to our Fistula Care Centre in Malawi for treatment.

When Linesi went into labor she was rushed to the nearby health center. She stayed in labor for a day and was later referred to the district hospital, where doctors tried to operate. They were unable to deliver her baby and she was referred again to the central hospital, where doctors operated and delivered a beautiful and healthy baby boy who is now 3 years old.

A week later, while Linesi was recovering, the doctors noticed that her wound was not healing properly. Linesi had to go back in the operating room and the doctors discovered that her uterus was damaged and had to be removed. A few days later Linesi noticed she was leaking urine and the doctors referred her to our Fistua Care Centre.

Linesi did not come to the center for treatment at that time as her mother refused to see her daughter undergo another operation. After suffering with her fistula for 3 years Linesi made the decision to seek help, stood up to her mother and contacted our center.

In the intervening years Linesi’s husband left her and remarried another woman, as he was not comfortable living in the same house her. Linesi had low self-esteem and lacked confidence due to her condition. She was ashamed and embarrassed.

Linesi remarried and her husband encouraged her to have the strength to seek treatment at the center.

Since being cured, Linesi tells us she feels at peace, as she is able to attend community functions and is attending the church services she desperately missed. She is able to make decisions whether she can move around her community, which was not possible before. She is now waking up to a dry bed and  does not stress about having to wash her bedding every day. She is also back interacting with her family and friends and feels she is part of the community again.

While with us at the center she enjoyed the activities, with her favorite being the cooking demonstrations and sewing classes. She is able to sew a few things for her husband and son.

As part of our micro-enterprise initiative, on discharge, Lenesi received a solar charging station. These provide fistula patients with the opportunity to become financially independent and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Linesi charges phones for a fee and is able to light her home. With the profits Lenesi has invested in a Salon business which has been running for 4 months (Dec 2023). She has saved and the other money she spent to support her family. Lenesi plans to buy land and build a house for her family.


“I’m very grateful for all the things the team has done for me. It is not easy to find such kind people; I was not expecting all these wonderful things I received.  Thank you for taking care of me.  God bless you. THANK YOU.”