Patient Stories: Alice
Alice suffered with fistula for 3 months before receiving help. Married at the age of 20, Alice suffered complications with her third pregnancy and needed a caesarean section, sadly the baby from this pregnancy died at birth. When Alice fell pregnant again, with her fourth child, the complications from the third pregnancy worsened as she was delayed at the hospital for 2 days. She gave birth naturally but unfortunately the baby died, it was after this birth and losing two children that Alice developed fistula. One of our very capable patient ambassadors found Alice and convinced her to come to receive help at the Fistula Care Centre in Malawi. While at the centre, Alice acquired new skills and knowledge from the classes she was attending while receiving treatment. Since leaving the centre she has started her own small business selling products that she learned to make while at the centre. Alice makes baby hats, doilies, bags and skirts and sells them locally. Since returning to her community, Alice’s life has changed for the better she is now able to attend community gatherings, go to church and engage with those in her community without fear of isolation or embarrassment. Her relationship with her husband has improved as she is now able to sleep in the same bed as him. In order to raise awareness of fistula and help other women with the problem, Alice attends community gatherings and also attends the antenatal clinic once a month to let mothers know that if they are suffering with this problem they are not alone, but also to help the staff there become more aware of the problem of fistula and allow them to refer patients to the Fistula Care Centre. Two of our staff members in Malawi went to visit Alice in March 2016 and she was very grateful for the visit and follow-up on her progress. Her family are very happy to have her back to her usual self and we are so happy to see that she is utilising the skills she learned while at FCC to start her own business.
Alice is 31 years old, married with 2 children. She works as a farmer and small business owner in Mphungu, T/A Lukwa in the Kasungu District of Malawi