women in Nepal do not always get the care they need during childbirth
Healthcare in rural parts of Nepal is very limited and women are particularly vulnerable. They are often malnourished and small in stature, and tend to be married very young. All of these are factors which make childbirth more dangerous.
One complication of a difficult labour can be obstetric fistula, a tear in the bladder or bowel which results in continual leakage of urine or faeces. The smell is enough for a woman to be ostracised.
Women with Fistula have their lives transformed
Shirley is an INF gynaecologist working at the government hospital in Surkhet. She and her team support and treat women with a variety of conditions including fertility problems, prolapsed uterus and gynaecological cancers. Shirley is also developing a programme for the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula.
Each year Shirley runs a camp lasting three weeks where women with fistula can receive life-changing repair surgery. Not only do women go home clean and dry, but their dignity is restored and they are often able to have healthy children.
In recent years the camp has been held in an unused building at the government hospital, but Shirley longs to see a purpose-built fistula centre, available all year round, for the women who need it.
- That women’s lives are being transformed
- That the women who need help are found and encouraged to ask for help
- For good relationships with officials at the government hospital in Surkhet