2021 saw the reopening of our Malawi and Madagascar fistula clinics after we had been forced to close in 2020. Whilst Covid restrictions continued to impact on the ability of patients to travel for help, our Patient Ambassadors and partner organizations in both these countries were ready to refer patients once again. Across all our projects, more than 660 women and girls were able to receive free fistula surgeries, with another 100+ receiving other surgeries to correct incontinence, including prolapse and stress incontinence. It was joyous for our teams to welcome back the fistula patients who had been waiting patiently for our return and for our projects in all three countries to be back to full service during the year.
Despite a global pandemic we were able to perform 662 fistula-related surgeries and 108 gynaecology surgeries in 2021. Moving forward we aim to help 1000+ patients by providing fistula surgery, patient ambassador training, patient rehabilitation and family planning. Patients like Olga.
Marie Olga, (39) from Andasibe Vavatenina lived with fistula for 13 years.
During that long period, members of her own family looked down on her and she hid herself at home. She was no longer able to attend local gatherings because she felt so unwell and the smell of her leaking urine was embarrassing.
Fortunately, Olga heard about the free treatment at the Freedom From Fistula Centre. At the same time a family member of a former patient spoke to Olga about Fistula, the care she could receive, and brought her to Tamatave to our clinic in Madagascar in July 2021.
Now that Olga is healed and free from fistula she wants to live a quiet life, no longer having to hide from the eyes of others.
Olga mentioned that she’s willing to speak to the women who suffer from fistula in their village to come to the Fistula Care Centre in Tamatave so they too can find healing and as a sign of thanks to the Doctor and whole team who supported her during her stay.