More often than not, women who contract obstetric fistula are abandoned by those they considered their closest relatives, including their life partners. Husbands who had promised to love their wives unconditionally, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow flee the scene when the women suffer from incontinence. Beyond their physical wounds, most women with fistula also suffer from a deep feeling of betrayal and abandonment.
More generally, obstetric fistula is widely seen as a “women’s problem”. But during our last visit of WAHA’s Fistula Center in Assella, we met with a group of inspiring men: husbands by their wives’ side, fathers consoling their daughters, sons taking care of their mothers.
Here is what they had to say.