Like many women living in rural Nepal, Aiti has had the heartbreak of losing several babies and developing obstetric fistula* from obstructed labour. Today [Friday 23 May] is International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. Here is one story of how INF is helping to achieve this goal through its camps across Nepal and will soon be able to continue this through the year at the first purpose built Fistula Centre in Nepal.
In her early twenties Aiti Sunar suffered the tragic loss of two babies during childbirth. In addition to her extraordinary grief Aiti also developed obstetric fistula from the protracted and unassisted labours. Aiti attended an INF fistula camp where she had surgery and after a decade of incontinence hopes to have her dignity restored. Here is her story…
Aiti said goodbye to her large family of fourteen siblings at age twenty when she left home with a man she fell in love with. In Nepal she was effectively considered married and soon fell pregnant. She began labouring at home and the contractions continued for four days until finally her baby was stillborn. From that moment she leaked urine and was constantly wet. Her life was changed forever.
She went on to have another two pregnancies. Her daughter survived but she lost a baby boy, again following a lengthy labour at home. Aiti travelled to India to have her obstetric fistula repaired but the surgery was unsuccessful. Her husband supported her throughout the years but sadly passed away several years ago.
Last year Aiti remarried another widower; they are well off and own farmland and animals. Aiti attended an INF fistula camp this year and had surgery for her obstetric fistula. She hopes that finally after decades of shame it will be successful, returning dignity despite her significant losses.
Read more about INF’s outreach medical camps.
INF is currently in the midst of completing Nepal’s first purpose built fistula hospital. Here
*Obstetric fistula is a hole caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine, faeces or both.