The Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Foundation has surgically managed 26 fistula survivors, marking the Foundation’s second Fistula Repair Campaign in the country.
The first one, which was held in September 2018, treated 21 women at the C.B. Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County.
The campaign to surgically repair the 26 women with fistula was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the Liberia Prevention of Maternal Mortality.
Emma Gladour, one of the 26 women, praised RMNCAH Foundation and a team of doctors for restoring their health and dignity. Emma, a mother of five, had lived with fistula for the last 26 years.
“I am feeling so fine after the people finished working on me. I have been suffering from this sickness since 1992. I really have heard that there was any hospital or someplace where they could work on people with this condition,” Emma narrated as she beamed with a smile from her hospital bed at the Family Medical Center in Paynesville.
She said she was forced to isolate herself from her family and children, because of her condition. Emma has meanwhile called on other women living with fistula, commonly known as “pupu and peepee” sickness, not to allow the shame associated with it to keep them from coming out to find help.
Another survivor is Rachelle Gaydor, who lives in Bin-Houye, La Côte d’Ivoire, near the border with Buutuo in Nimba County. Ms. Gaydor was taken to Danané to give birth and developed obstetric fistula.
The surgical campaign was carried by a team of local and international doctors led by Dr. John Mulbah, who is assisted by Doctors Ambereen Sleemi, and William A. Meyer, Jr., from the International Medical Response based in the United States of America.
Dr. Sleemi, who spoke on behalf of the team, said Liberia has more work to do in ending obstetric fistula.
RMNCAH Foundation is a not-for-profit organization launched in August 2018 by a team of experts in clinical services, public health, health services training and education, and behavioral change communication to contribute to the provision of quality Emergency obstetric and newborn care, (EmONC), sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, including fertility treatment and cervical cancer prevention and screening services in Liberia.