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Meet Aneni from Zimbabwe

Before finding treatment through Fistula Foundation, Aneni* suffered with a terrible fistula for 35 years.

When she was only 19 years old, Aneni experienced a wrenching, prolonged labor. She pushed for six days at her home in rural Zimbabwe, until her husband finally managed to borrow an ox-drawn carriage to take her to a nearby health clinic. There, doctors immediately recognized the severity of Aneni’s condition, and transferred her to the general hospital for an emergency C-section. She still remembers her gripping fear. After the C-section, Aneni’s fears were confirmed— her baby was stillborn.

Aneni and her husband were devastated. He blamed himself for their young family’s misfortune. Yet, when he found out that Aneni was leaking urine, his guilt was not enough to make him stay. When Aneni was diagnosed with obstetric fistula, he abandoned her in their rural home.

Aneni found herself at the lowest point of her life. She was grieving, neglected, and constantly leaking urine. She was forced to move back in with her parents, and remained with them for many years until they both passed away.

After so many years of living in shame, Aneni heard about WAHA’s free program to assist women with her condition. She thought it was too good to be true, and asked a neighbor to call on her behalf and confirm that it wasn’t a scam. When Aneni finally connected with an outreach worker, she was screened and immediately invited to travel to Chinhoyi for free fistula repair surgery.
Four weeks later, Aneni returned to her rural home— healed and completely dry for the first time in three decades.

*Name changed for privacy

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