A Note from Inside Niger
"Imagine a woman in labor going through a difficult and long delivery only to discover that a hole was created in her bladder or rectum from the trauma. Now urine or stool flows from her uncontrollably. Not only is this disturbing, it may cause the woman to smell and be rejected by her husband and family.
"Obstetric fistula is a disabling condition for women in Niger. It ruins their lives. They become unsuccessful in marriage and in childbirth; the things that are most valuable to a woman in this country are lost. But all their dreams can be restored through the surgical solution we offer at the Danja Fistula Center.
"The center is doing about 40 percent of the fistula surgeries in the country. Many of the women we treat would have gone to sorcerers and tried all manner of traditional medicinal cures only to find themselves no better at the end of it.
"I love seeing the women who have been cured, remembering that they came in fear. They came without hope, grieving the loss of life as they desired it, thinking it was gone forever. And to see them restored after having proper surgery...it's a joyful transformation."
—Steve Brown, 20-year SIM worker; based in Niger
Leyla was a patient who, early on, would not talk much because of her deep sadness. Later, she began responding with a few words. By the time she left, she was smiling and openly thanking everyone at the center for all she had been blessed by, including the fistula surgery to correct her incontinence. We are both humbled and proud to have such a profound effect on the women who come here for treatment.
“Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’” — Luke 8:47-48 (NIV)
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Restore women in Niger whose lives have been ruined by obstetric fistula.