Leaky malady

By CATHERINE SIOW – The Star (Malaysia) – Tues 14 Oct, 2008

In Ethiopia, 1.5 women per 1,000 suffer from obstetric fistula

In Ethiopia, 1.5 women per 1,000 suffer from obstetric fistula

Vaginal fistulas, or abnormal holes in the female reproductive system, though not life-threatening, can result in profound psychological trauma.

POPULAR American TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey highlighted this problem on her show. Scattered across sub-Saharan Africa, there are hospitals specialised in treating the condition. Named after their founders, Dr Catherine Hamlin and her late husband Reginald, these little Hamlin fistula hospitals provide humanitarian reconstructive surgery to victims.

In Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has treated more than 30,000 women over three decades. An award-winning feature-length documentary, A Walk to Beautiful (2007), highlights the plight of victims. . .

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