Fistula repair surgery gives Paulina a new lease on life

Fistula, Stories | September 11, 2023

My name is Paulina. I am 42 years old from Nigeria.

I developed fistula after my first pregnancy – a prolonged obstructed labour which lasted over four days at home, before I moved to a hospital as the situation was becoming hopeless.

When I arrived at the hospital, they discovered that my baby had already died. I was immediately rushed to theatre for a caesarean section to remove the baby which was becoming life threatening to me.

A few days after the surgery, I discovered I was leaking urine. I complained to the doctors, but it seems the issue was beyond their capacity because all efforts to remedy the problem proved unsuccessful. I was discharged from the hospital without a permanent solution to the problem. They gave me some drugs to continue taking at home but did not offer me any other solution.

Then I went and had surgical repair and was discharged dry from the hospital, but surprisingly, the problem re-surfaced after six months of fistula surgical repair.

I wanted to go to the hospital to complain but was unable to because of transport fare. My husband and his family abandoned me as the result of my condition, and I was left with no option than to go back to my parent’s house.

Life became hopeless because none would go near me except my few family members. It was difficult for me to go into any business because people were not associating with me.

I have been living with fistula for twenty years now without any hope of getting better. But thanks to ECWA with support from CBM, help came to my community in the form of medical outreach at a hospital closer to my home.

When I heard the announcements on radio and from my church, I immediately went. When it was confirmed that I had fistula, they operated free of charge without paying a penny from my bucket. I was discharged dry from the hospital without any sign of leaking.

I want to express my appreciation for CBM and their local partners for coming to our aid. Thank you once more for giving me reason to live again.

– Paulina

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and thanks our implementing partner the ECWA Evangel Vesico Vaginal Fistula Center, Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos.


After living with obstetric fistula for 20 years, Paulina finally got the surgery she needed to heal and end her incontinence.  


Back to Stories

Your donation could save lives

Related Stories

A Light of Hope

Content Warning: The story in this letter refers to suicide, which may be distressing for some readers. If you or someone you know is in need of support, please...

Small Business, Big Impact: supporting mental health in Indonesia

Work is a big part of our lives. Not...

A Resilient Woman

Margie, a mother of seven, is a daycare worker in a small coastal village in the Philippines. A few years ago, Margie was diagnosed with a mental health condition after...