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Bring hope and dignity to women suffering from the debilitating condition obstetric fistula.
cbm is helping to ensure women suffering from obstetric fistula in Nigeria have access to medical services provided by highly skilled doctors and nurses. The aim is to raise awareness of obstetric fistula, and to protect and treat young mothers from the tragedy of fistula. Without intervention, fistula can lead to chronic medical, social and psychological problems. This programme supports women during surgery and with post-operative care.
Obstetric Fistula occurs when the baby’s head puts too much pressure on the mother’s maternal tissues, cutting the blood supply. The tissue dies and leaves a hole, or fistula, causing urine and faeces to leak uncontrollably.
An estimated 2-3.5 million women living with obstetric fistula are in the developing world. Nigeria accounts for 40% of fistula cases worldwide. Women with fistula are often excluded from daily activities, husbands frequently leave them and women are removed from their village due to their incontinence. Many women live with the condition for decades, unable to access the medical intervention that can change their lives.
The main causes of fistula in developing countries are extreme poverty and the low status of women and girls. Malnutrition in children contributes to stunting, when the female skeleton – including the pelvis – doesn’t fully mature this can lead to birthing difficulties resulting in issues like fistula.
WHAT YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT CAN HELP FUND
Training health professionals to refer difficult births for maternal care and identify and refer patients with obstetric fistula.
Running outreach clinics to identify women in need of fistula surgery.
Performing reconstructive fistula surgeries to affected women.
Providing assistive devices for improved mobility.
Providing post-surgical physiotherapy, counselling and business skills training.
Running campaigns in the community to raise awareness of obstetric fistula.
One-off, Every Week, Every 2 Weeks, Every 4 Weeks, Every Month, Quarterly, Annually
Please help keep hope alive for mothers, like Chizoram in Nigeria, living with the life-long smell, shame and isolation of obstetric fistula!
Jesus said to her, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. - Matthew 9:22
At Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Hope of the world, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks for your generous support of the ministry of cbm. Thank you for your loving kindness towards people with disabilities in the world’s poorest places. Your support is truly transforming lives.
Today, you can continue this ministry by bringing the ‘light of hope’ to help restore the health of mothers suffering from obstetric fistula.
Please will you prayerfully consider sending a gift of hope to help free heartbroken mothers, like Chizoram, from the life-long smell, shame and isolation of obstetric fistula.
“I was sad for two years,” Chizoram says. This sadness came because she lost her baby in a traumatic stillbirth, which then led to years of uncontrollable leaking of her bodily waste.
Two small fissures in her birth canal caused Chizoram to suffer complete financial disaster, with unimaginable loneliness and shame…
As cbm supporter, you know that when tragedy strikes, it can push a family, who cannot afford specialist medical treatments, into long-term disability and deeper poverty.
But your generosity can change this. Your gift will be a blessing to heartbroken mothers, helping to free them from a lifetime of pain, allowing them to live independently. Your generosity will help restore their dignity!
When Chizoram’s labour started, it was long and difficult and then her labour stalled. Blood supply inside Chizoram was blocked by the pressure of the baby’s head… and in two small spots, the wall of her birth canal began to die. Adding to this, as the labour was so prolonged, help came too late to save her cherished baby.
The family were devastated.
If that wasn’t enough, in the first days of her mourning, Chizoram began to suffer the effects of obstetric fistula. Two small holes had broken through from her bowel and urinary tract.
“I started leaking urine and faeces uncontrollably!” Mothers, like Chizoram, can suffer this relentless leakage for the rest of their lives.
Shocked, and mortified by the smell, Chizoram rushed back to the hospital. They tried to help, but they charged her more than she could possibly afford. “I had to sell the kiosk. I sold all the stock to pay for surgery.” Her husband spent all their savings and they borrowed from friends…
…but the local surgeons did not have specialist skills in obstetric fistula surgery – “the faeces stopped, but the urine kept leaking.”
We are so grateful for kind and generous Kiwis who are willing to help mothers, like Chizoram, living in shame and isolation, in countries like Nigeria. Through their faithful generosity, there is a solution to help these precious mothers.
How wretched life became for Chizoram.
“I have not gone outside for two years. No church, no markets, all because of the leaking urine. I stayed indoors and just cried. When anyone came knocking on my door, I would stay quiet until they left.”
She couldn’t go to church for solace and prayer. Her smell was impossible to hide.
Don’t we see this so often? Where hope is lost, and poverty prevents mothers accessing skilled maternal healthcare.
But thankfully, this is where your loving kindness comes into the picture to help heal mothers, like Chizoram!
Right now, there are many mothers, like Chizoram, in need... but your generous support can change that.
Your gift today will help find heartbroken mothers, like Chizoram. Some of them hiding at home for decades!
In the Christmas spirit of good news and great hope, here is how your Christmas gift can be a blessing to help provide a safe place for the many mothers who are thrown out of their homes and families, because of the shame and smell of fistula. It will help fund obstetric fistula surgeries, hospital care and after care medicine, so these mothers can heal in mind, body and spirit.
By sending your Christmas gift today, you selflessly make it possible for heartbroken mothers to get the essential care they need.
So please, send your gift today. You will be helping to provide high quality obstetric fistula treatment for mothers held captive in the horror and humiliation of uncontrollably leaking bodily waste.
On one of her endless days of shame, Chizoram was watching a Nigerian talk show called Dem Say Dem Say. They were talking about obstetric fistula – and how cbm supporters, like you, are making such high quality obstetric fistula care available through a cbm-funded programme called SFHF - the Survive Fistula Healthcare Foundation… and it is free!
Hope leapt in Chizoram’s heart. She had no money left, so this was joyful news straight from God. “When I heard the surgery was free, I was really happy.”
She rushed to tell her husband, but… “He laughed in disbelief!”
Our hearts go out to him. He didn’t dare to hope. He had lost so much. His heart was broken too. His fear of more disappointment overwhelmed him.
But Chizoram’s faith stayed strong. “I reminded him that with God, all things are possible.” She telephoned the hospital. They reassured her that the surgeons, medical staff and the hospital care you help provide, would restore her to dignity, cleanliness and a new life. And because of you, it would cost her nothing at all.
Thanks to generous people like you, Chizoram received life-changing surgical care from a cbm-funded surgeon. Her leaking has stopped forever!
Even so, at first her husband refused to visit her in the hospital. I think he was still afraid to hope… so he sent the children. When they confirmed that their Mum had stopped leaking and was on the mend, he finally believed. This lovely family was reunited in joy.
Only then, after all the fear of disappointment was gone, did she tell her mother and her in-laws about her surgery.
That poor woman, standing on faith but so afraid of being let down again. To people in poverty with a disability, your kindness really does seem too good to be true!
After a three-month stay, Chizoram returned home full of joy and gratitude for the great things God had done for her through support from generous people like you. She asked a friend for a small loan to start her kiosk again. “I have since repaid the loan. I have been using the profit to continue the business.” This is an amazing woman!
Her greatest joy is being able to go to church again. She really does look like a completely new person. Alive again!
Chizoram’s story is an amazing testimony of the life-changing work you are helping to support.
Please help support this remarkable ministry for mothers who are mired in misery.
Your gift will help to find mothers hiding at home in shame and isolation.
Thanks to a gift like yours, Chizoram had a heart-warming moment with her husband. “I reminded him that I had told him that the surgery will be successful. We thank God for everything.”
We thank God too – especially for you. Without people like you, there can be no cbm, no expert help for mothers suffering this humiliating disability. It is a rare person who knows about obstetric fistula in our country. By making more people aware of this condition, together, we can bring joy back to the hearts of mothers, like Chizoram.
But I am also deeply concerned that right now there are so many other mothers, like Chizoram, who are desperate to be freed from a lifetime of smell and isolation, and to have their dignity restored.
Please will you help heal more mothers, like Chizoram, to free them from obstetric fistula, and help them live independently again. With your generous support these mothers will no longer be a burden to their families. They will no longer live in shame and isolation, unable to live independently.
Please will you help heal them and restore their dignity.
So many mothers are waiting right now for help.
Thank you for prayerfully considering sending a special Christmas gift of hope. Your generosity will allow mothers, like Chizoram in Nigeria, to be free from the shame and isolation of obstetric fistula.