Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories: Philipina


Philipina fell pregnant with her first child at just 14 years old. Despite her young age she safely delivered a healthy baby boy. Four years later Philipina fell pregnant again but due to complications during delivery she developed an obstetric fistula.

In May 2021, Philipina was still just a young girl. The baby was too big to deliver normally and so she delivered her second baby by c-section. After the operation she stayed in hospital for 3 months and required a catheter. When doctors removed the catheter, they realized she had a fistula. She was referred to another hospital, where she stayed for a month, and they in turn referred her to our Fistula Care Centre.

In March 2022 Philipina came to the center for surgery. While suffering from her injury life was miserable. Friends ran away because of the smell she was producing and she leaked heavily. Her self-esteem was very low.

Once at the center Philipina participated in various social reintegration activities such as arts and crafts classes, numeracy and literacy classes and cooking classes. She especially enjoyed the sewing classes as she learnt to sew bags. Philipina has put these skills to good use since returning home, sewing small bags for the primary school children in her village that cannot afford a bag for school. On discharge Philipina received a solar charging station as part of our micro-enterprise initiative. She charges phones for a fee and the solar kit also comes with 4 bulbs that she uses to light her home. So far (Dec 2023) Philipina has made MK 88,000. On an average per month she makes MK 5,500 and charges MK 200 per phone. Philipina uses the money to rent land for farming. She also brought groundnut and maize seed for the rainy season and the rest of the money earned has been used to support her family. Philipina plans to buy her own land for farming one day.

 “For me, it was the staff of the fistula care center that saved my life, I would have not been alive today.  I gave up on my life. What you did for me was beyond my expectations.  And you also went beyond by giving me a solar business that allows me to buy things for my family on a daily basis. Thank you so much.”