Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Walk To Beautiful

Last night I got to watch a beautiful feature on PBS called Walk To Beautiful. It was a very moving feature, a 50-minute version by Nova of a full length feature film of the same name.

It features a dilemma facing women in developing countries called a fistula, a consequence of vaginal deliveries gone wrong where the woman goes into labor for days, up to 10 days in some instances, and though they deliver stillborn babies by then (I think the window for a safe delivery is 12 hours then it's time to the C-section, but I could be wrong), they end up with fistulas caused by the pressure of the fetus pushing against the pelvic wall and against organs like the bladder and the rectum which end up weakened, or because of lack of blood circulation, cells simply die off and a hole is created.

This leaves the woman permanently incontinent, either of urine (if bladder is affected) , feces (if rectal wall is affected), or both, causing husbands to leave them and families and societies to shun them.

I could tell you more but you have to see this film for yourself. I remember when I had my baby 18 years ago, and we are truly fortunate in the western world for having the best medicines and medical technology. It made me realize that there are so many women out there without the many things we take for granted. Some of these villages where these women come from don't even have midwives!

Anyway, you can learn more about fistulas by going to the Fistula Foundation, and also ways in which you can help.


Jinky said...

yeah I've seen this kind of story on Oprah, where these african women who pregnant (especially those that at very young age), then was left in some bushes to deliver their own babies like some animal, not only are they expose on infections, but what if some wild beast came along, you know that they have a very keen sense of smell....
then suffer what I think called then was severe incontinence because of lacking medical attention.

Liz said...

It really is unfortunate that this still happens in the world. In our world of sterilized hospital wards and medicines galore, it's hard to imagine that in many other parts of the world, women aren't afforded any dignity during what should be a most beautiful time of their lives.