Thursday, March 7, 2013

Give a Little Hope to Women

Photo courtesy of One by One
I can remember the first time I heard the word "fistula". It was a funny sounding word for a horrific condition - a hole between the birth passage and an internal organ such as the bladder or rectum. A woman cannot hold her urine, and sometimes bowel content as well.

I was shocked when I learned just how many women suffer the pain and resulting shame and isolation from fistulas caused from prolonged obstructed labour, or giving birth when they are just young girls or - the ultimate act of violence - from being raped and/or mutilated. Mostly it happens because most mothers in poor countries give birth without any medical help.

All of the scenarios are ugly, and preventable. But there is work to do to to create change. In the meantime there are girls and women who need treatment, care and support to repair the physical and emotional wounds of fistula.

This week I donated a little to the Fistula Foundation to support their efforts to raise awareness of and fund fistula repair, prevention, and educational programs worldwide to help eradicate fistula. Women deserve proper maternal care, the quality of which should not depend on where you happen to be living.

Read about my weekly  Give a Little challenge and other posts. I have to give ongoing props to Wendy Smith for her inspiring book, Give a Little. Consider giving it a read.

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