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18 years with a fistula: Faskia's story

Fasika was overjoyed when she became pregnant during the same year as she got married. Like every woman in her rural community, Fasika did not have any antenatal check-ups during her pregnancy as the nearest health facility was far from home.

When the time came to deliver her baby, Fasika endured an excruciating labor for more than two days at home. Her family did their best to help her but Fasika’s baby was tragically stillborn. She also sustained an obstetric fistula injury which left her incontinent.

Fasika’s fistula injury devastated her life

Grieving the loss of her baby, Fasika could only participate in social activities using pieces of clothing as pads. Although she had several further pregnancies, all but one resulted in stillbirths.

During her last stillborn delivery, the health care provider advised Fasika to seek health care assistance but she could not afford to do so. Her incontinence persisted.

A cure at last

In the next phase of Project Zero implementation in Didessa Woreda, Fasika was found during house-to-house surveys to find women hidden away with untreated fistula injuries.

Fasika 2 | Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation | Together we can eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

The Project Zero team transported Fasika to Hamlin’s Metu Fistula Hospital for life-changing surgery.

Fasika will soon return to her community, cured and ready to start her life anew.

This is the impact of Project Zero.

Read more about this ground-breaking program here.


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All rights reserved 2023 Catherine Hamlin Foundation (R) (ABN58159647499)
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fiscally sponsored by KBFUS (EIN582277856) and KBF Canada (RCO769784893RR0001)

Photography credits to Cameron Bloom, Nigel Brennan, Mary F. Calvert, Kate Geraghty, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana, Johannes Remling and Martha Tadesse.

Patient names have been changed to protect the identities of those we help.