H4+ Ethiopia: Hopes Restored Through Corrective Fistula Surgery (#H4plus)

Aster photo with babyH4+ ETHIOPIA—Twenty-three year-old Aster Mamo is all smiles and occasional giggles despite the grueling ordeal she has been through because of fistula. Aster developed fistula due to prolonged labour when delivering her second child three months ago.

When her body wouldn’t get back to normal after delivery, she was worried but thought it was a problem that would go away with time. But it didn’t, and she found that it was difficult to control her urine, and couldn’t understand why. She was too ashamed to mention her problem to her family but couldn’t hide her situation for long. She thought her body was damaged for good and was in despair until she heard that she could get help at Asella Hospital. She sought help at the Hospital and was overjoyed to learn that her condition can be reversed through corrective surgery.

Now, recovering at the Fistula Centre of Asella Hospital, she is just too happy that despite the aftermath and complications of her long labour, her baby boy is still with her. She says she is grateful that her baby is alive and that her condition is improving. “I am so lucky that I still have my baby. As long as I have my child, I can endure anything; and the doctors are telling me that I am going to be well again,” she comments with a smile.

The Fistula Centre at Asella Hospital treats as many as 100 patients per year coming from rural and urban zones around the Hospital. In the first seven months of 2015 alone, corrective surgery has been performed on 40 women. The Hospital links up with the Health Extension Program and the Health Development Army, which engage on reaching communities with health services, to identify and refer Fistula cases. As an innovative move, recent house-to-house polio campaigns were also used for Fistula case identification and referral.

Asella Hospital is one of the facilities that is supported by H4+ for institutional and human capacity building for Fistula surgery, post- operative care and reintegration programs.


The H4+ Ethiopia partnership is generously funded by the
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency @Sida