In Koulikoro, Malian Women with Fistula Find Compassion and Solidarity

As I listened to the obstetric health histories of the women who came to the Koulikoro referral health center in Mali last month, I got a brief introduction to how obstetric fistula has affected their lives.Each one had come to the facility hoping to undergo a successful repair surgery to heal her fistula (a childbirth injury that can occur during obstructed or prolonged labor). And their accounts revealed some unmistakable parallels:Sali is 27 years old and developed obstetric fistula during her second pregnancy. After laboring for three days, she received an emergency cesarean to remove her stillborn child. She’s lived with a fistula for nine years and has lingering incontinence after receiving two previous fistula repair operations. Of two total pregnancies, she has only one living child.Their stories reflect a health system that offers inadequate access to high-quality perinatal care

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In Koulikoro, Malian Women with Fistula Find Compassion and Solidarity