Child marriages leaves young women vulnerable to Fistula

Child marriage isn’t just a violation of girls rights, it leaves them vulnerable to all forms of fistula.

A fistula is  a passage or hole that has formed between the two organs in one’s body .Obstetric  fistula  is the major type of fistula  that affects women in developing

 

Many  young women and old women who were married off when they were still young  live with fistula, they dread telling their life experiences.they end up living as outcasts  in the community as  fistula is still being viewed as a curse  for sexual immorality .

Statistics  has it that 2 million women in developing  countries are living with fistula, and because its a silent  disease, most choose to be silenced by their condition and give up on hope of ever leading normal lives  again.

When one has a prolonged and obstructed  labour  it may lead to obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula is an abnormal opening that develop between the birth canal and the urinary tract.Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and Obstetric fistula are the common types of fistula in developing countries.

It is normally an indicator of poor quality of obstetric care in developing countries where this type of disease is  rampant.

Young girls whose birth canals are still narrow  , experience  fistula as the head of the baby presses really hard on the mother’s bladder causing a tear which  if not surgically repaired will cause leakage of urine continuously.

 

“For three years I have  lived with  fistula, my husband left me when I was 16 years old.for the past three years I haven’t  worn any underwear because  urine was  always leaking.I developed sores on my genitals that never  healed.nobody wanted to stay close to me because of the bad smell which usually repelled them off.

My mother thought I was bewitched  because the baby died  while  I was in labour, it took me 6 hours to get to the nearest  clinic, I was  in so much pain .when  I finally arrived the nurses ignored  me, actually they were scolding me for getting pregnant at a tender age.

When my husband heard I had  delivered a dead  baby,  he called me a witch” Nyaradzai’s story is a reflection of many cases of young women living with fistula in Zimbabwe and other developing countries.

 

Fistula is curable, but awareness is still low in developing countries. If we can eradicate child marriages, we have a greater chance of mitigating all forms of fistula.

 

 

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