Danja Fistula Center brings hope

Niger in West Africa

Salome is the first person in her Nigerien family to attend school.

"I came from a very poor family and I have worked hard to say that I'm the best student in my family," she said.

Her determination had twice earned her the top student award in her school. While she excelled in a variety of subjects, it had been her aspiration to become a doctor since primary school. However, these plans got side-tracked in the first year of her secondary school studies. During a school break she went to visit her grandmother's village. As in customary in some parts of the country, Salome and her sister were subjected to female circumcision by family members.

The surgery left lasting physical ailments for Salome, and because of her incontinence and shame she was not able to return to school.

"I was crying day to night," she said. "Crying, crying... and I was missing my studies."

For six months she went to a doctor and took medicine, without any effect. Not prepared to give up, she continued seeking a cure. Through a series of hospital referrals, she finally arrived at SIM's Danja Fistula Center (DFC) in Niger. Her life was about to change for the better.

"I was so very happy," she said about the friendly care she received in her three weeks at DFC. She underwent a successful reconstruction surgery and was ecstatic to return home to continue her studies.

With her goal attainable once again, the experience at DFC has further confirmed Salome's desire to become a doctor.

About SIM's Danja Fistula Center

The Danja Fistula Center opened in February 2012 alongside SIM’s Center for Health and Leprosy Care–Danja (CSL Danja). The fistula centre offers surgical and post-operative care to women suffering from obstetric or traumatic fistula, pelvic organ prolapse and related ailments. The staff has helped about 1,300 women suffering from obstetric fistula since its creation. The smiles of the women restored from lives ruined by fistula are a great reward of this work!

The centre is led by long-term SIM workers and Niger staff devoted to seeing these women go from sorrow to restoration. As part of long-term care the patients are offered vocational training in embroidery, knitting and sewing, plus education in literacy and personal health care. So far, nearly 400 women have graduated from the three-month program and about 200 more have been trained for one or two months.

An SIM physical therapist helps women regain continence, have greater mobility or even walk again after nerve damage suffered during childbirth. This is a supplement to surgeries, because in some cases the fistula is closed by the surgery, but the woman remains incontinent until the therapist works with the patient on muscle strength. An SIM clinical psychologist offers onsite trauma healing groups and counseling for the social and emotional trauma of fistula.

Pray for:

• Salome to know Jesus and to study well in her journey to become a doctor.

• others touched by the DFC to hear the gospel and receive healing.

 

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

Related stories

Flood relief for Pakistan’s Sindh province

As the impact of serious flooding continues to be felt, SIM workers are partnering with others to bring hope and practical help to people who desperately need it. Find out what is happening and how you could get involved.

Ukraine Bible school reopens as war continues

Ministers of the gospel of peace continue to be encouraged and equipped as Odesa Bible College begins a new term.

Successful surgery ends shame for E

Years of rejection end for a Malagasy woman, and a new life begins, as SIM surgeon Ted Watts successfully completes a difficult operation to repair her damaged bladder. Ted is lead surgeon at the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara, Madagascar, and shares this moving story…

Milestone as Manya New Testament translation completed

The words of the Bible in a people group's own language is a huge step towards them hearing and truly understanding the gospel. There are currently still over 2000 languages without a Bible, but John-Mark and Sara Sheppard, mission workers with SIM in Liberia, recently saw the completion of the New Testment translated into the Manya language.