Wednesday June 27, 2018
Khadra Ibrahim Ahmed can see a new future opening up in front of her
after a successful operation at Borame hospital in Somaliland this month
to repair the obstetric fistula that has marred the last 14 years of
“Whenever I visited my relatives in their houses I was not allowed to
sleep in their beds, I couldn’t ride in public vehicles, or go to
weddings or other public gatherings. I was under house arrest! I
couldn’t mix with other people, and my husband even left me because of
it. People would only call me on my phone but nobody wanted to stand
close to me,” said Khadra, 40, who lives in Bosaso.
A prolonged labour during her last pregnancy, which resulted in the
death of her baby, caused the damage that meant Khadra was unable to
control her urine and faeces.
She went to different hospitals with support from her husband in
Addis Ababa, Mogadishu, and Bosaso. None of the treatments worked and in
2012, when her husband left her, she resigned herself to a life of
Recently, Khadra heard from a friend about the free treatment
provided at Borama hospital by the Fistula Foundation. She immediately
contacted the hospital and became one of 105 women to receive surgery
“I have spent all my money trying to find doctors. When my money ran
out I got handouts from my relatives. My mother sent me $40 a month to
buy diapers and clothing,” Khadra said. “Now I am recovering and when
the doctors discharge me the first thing I hope to do is to get back my
life and start up a business.”
Dr Nasra Ibrahim Sa’id, who conducted the surgery, said most women affected have suffered prolonged obstructed labour.
“The services given to the women including hospitalisation, food,
medication, surgery and other extra treatment are all free. Sometimes
the women bring others with them and we also treat them,” said Dr Nasra.
Women are encouraged to come to the hospital to benefit from the free
services. The hospital is supported by Fistula Foundation, World
Vision, and Somaliland’s Ministry of Health.