Delivery from shame
HEALTH | Dr. Catherine Hamlin pioneered fistula surgery, helping countless outcast women, but now she needs more doctors to carry the work forward |Emily Belz
When women arrive at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, they usually reek of urine and feces. Often they have walked many miles and their husbands have abandoned them as social outcasts. Common in countries where women labor in childbirth without any medical care, fistula is an injury resulting from days, even a week, of obstructed labor. The rare woman to survive such trauma and blood loss is left with an open wound that dribbles human waste—and her child is usually dead or severely malformed.