Interview Date: February 25, 2020
Interview Location: Phebe Rehabilitation Center, Bong County
Interviewer: Kathy Beth Stavinoha
Assisted by: Emma K. Katakpah
Twenty-year-old Albertha Zerinsaye is from Nimba County. She has 5 sisters and 1 brother (some of her siblings have different mothers). She speaks Mano. She wants to tell God thank you for the help you’ve been giving to us.
Albertha was in labor for one day, but the child was too large to be born vaginally. She went to E&J Hospital in Ganta where she had a C-Section. The baby did not live. The next day, she started pee-peeing on herself. She has no other children.
She has had her fistula for four years. She has had 4 fistula-repair surgeries but she is not dry. Her most recent surgery was during the second fistula campaign in January 2020.
She learned cosmetology at the Phebe Rehab Center. She also learned soap making, tie-dye, and bread-making. When she gets her materials, she can go into business. She plans to return to Nimba, where will live with her parents.
When she came down with fistula, she and her boyfriend were together, but he left her when he found out about her fistula. She felt bad and thought she was the only one who had this sickness. She cried every day and stayed at the house. She went to Ganta Methodist Hospital where a doctor told her they had a training center in Gbarnga. When she came here (the Rehab Center), she made friends and is happy now.
She would tell a pregnant friend that when she is in pain (in labor), she should not go to a midwife (tribal birth attendant) but should go to a hospital to give birth because the midwife will cause the problem (fistula).
When she goes home, she will not be dependent on anyone because she has learned plenty of things at Rehab and she is able to take care of herself.
Albertha Zerinsaye is a fistula survivor. Hear her story in her own words.