Obstetric fistula and related birth injuries impact the lives of two to three million women and girls across sub-Saharan Africa. At present, the problem continues to grow exponentially with an estimated 50,000 and 100,000 women worldwide developing an obstetric fistula every year. The exact number of birth injuries is difficult to estimate due to the stigma associated with the condition. It has a devastating impact on the affected women and their families. The situation is compounded by a lack of awareness of the condition within healthcare systems and communities, making it difficult to address and resolve the problem. Treatment is expensive and out of reach for most of these women. Consequently, many of the victims fall into depression and loneliness, in pain and in desperate need of medical care. Sponsored Birth Injury Camps are an important source of care for women in southwestern Uganda. It costs approximately $300 to cover the cost of care for a woman.
Since 2012, CBH has supported Birth Injury Camps championed by Dr. Sr. Priscilla in the Fort Portal region. The Birth injury Camps offer free medical care to the women, covering the surgery and post operative care. More recently, through the Ngonzi Nsa Initiative, four healthcare institutes are working together to increase the number of birth injury camps, providing birth injury reparative surgeries for 224 women since 2021.
How the camps work.
Clinic staff greeting participants and their families at a Birth Injury Camp.
Testimonals of Restoring Womens’ Dignity
A teenager was forced into sex and became pregnant. The perpetrator denied responsibility for the child. Her baby did not survive. The birth experience resulted in an injury that turned into a fistula. Now this mother and her family are very thankful to God and to Dr. Sr. Priscilla, who operated on her to restore her dignity. The young mother’s beautiful smile has returned. Her father is grateful to see his daughter healthy and looking forward to a better life. As with many of the families, there was no money to pay for such a surgery. They are grateful to the health facility and Sr. Priscilla for providing free care.
A young mother of 4 children called herself the luckiest woman after a successful fistula correction procedure. After a difficult labor, with no medical officer to perform a C-section, she lost her baby one month after delivery. Her kind and loving husband funded a procedure to repair the fistula that was not successful. Fortunately, the couple heard about Sr. Priscilla’s birth injury camps and traveled a long way to Rwibaale for assessment and finally a surgery. Her fistula was successfully repaired by Dr. Sr. Priscilla. This mother stayed at the clinic for recovery and monitoring, as do all camp participants. On the 14th day after surgery, the mother’s urinary catheter was removed, and she was discharged. She was driven home in a clinic vehicle, where she was greeted by her husband, children, mother-in-law, and friends. All were very happy and excited to see her home again in a sound state. They praised God for her successful surgery and the donors who made the camp and free care possible.
Participants receive gifts to celebrate their renewed health and dignity.