It was quite a memorable adventure for the team members. It wouldn’t be an adventure for a woman trying to make it to a clinic after having been in labor for 2 (or more) days. It would be a nightmare! Could a woman in labor make it across one log bridge, let alone five?
I do not know if any residents of Cooper Town got a fistula while giving birth, but many of the women and girls we’ve met – fistula survivors as well as those still waiting for fistula repair – come from villages that are just as remote – so remote that there is no cell reception.
Because they are poor, they give birth with the aid of an elderly woman who has no medical training. If they need help, they can’t pull out a cell phone and call for an ambulance. Only with great difficulty can their families get them to a clinic.
This is why Dignity:Liberia is raising funds to build House of Hope and Dignity, a maternity waiting home in rural Liberia. Women in remote areas will be able to spend the last week of their pregnancy at the home, and if necessary, be transferred to a hospital to give birth, preventing the devastating physical and emotional pain caused by a fistula. For many women, having a safe place to stay in close proximity to professional medical support could mean the difference between suffering a fistula or avoiding it.