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Birthrights
Fistula Hospital: Healing and hope
The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital treats 1,300 women a year - we hear some of their stories.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2011 08:37



Across the developing world, millions of women live with a debilitating medical condition borne out of poverty. Obstetric Fistula is caused by prolonged labour that, without suitable medical intervention, tears a whole in the woman's birth canal, allowing body wastes to leak. Without treatment, the woman is often isolated from her family and community.

The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia treats 1,300 women a year. The first three of our Birthrights films are set in and around the hospital, following the women who are treated there and the medical staff who care for them.

FROM THE FILMMAKER:

'I had trepidations about going to a place full of people with such an unpleasant condition who could only have been broken by their experience. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to discover a remarkable community, with a calm, welcoming atmosphere. I was struck by patients like Asrebab, who suffered in silence for seven years before finally being brought to the hospital. Despite losing so much of her youth, Asrebab remains positive and upbeat about her life.'

Lara Akeju

The second of our films on Fistula, Fistula Hospital: Reaching out, takes us beyond the hospital to see the work being done in its rural clinics. Click here to watch it online now.

The last film in our Fistula series, Fistula Hospital: Facing the future, follows the people working on Fistula prevention. Click here to watch it online now.

 Maternal health is about more than just mothers and babies. Across the globe  the very business of delivering life into the world is determined by power, politics  and, all too frequently, poverty. 
Source:
Al Jazeera
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