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ALZIRA: MY LIFE WITH OBSTETRIC FISTULA

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Published on Jul 1, 2012

After one week with obstructed labor at the village health post, Alzira was transferred to Zavala and then to Inhambane, 166 kms away, for a caesarean. The baby was born dead. She remained incontinent, her left leg paralyzed, and with rectovaginal and vesicovaginal fistulae. That was in 2003. She was 16.
"Life was very hard. I was in pain. I had no friends or family around me. Only my mother cared for me. I couldn't walk, I couldn't do anything." she recalls
Transferred to Maputo in 2005, Alzira needed six operations to reconstruct her bladder using the appendix, the vagina with the intestines, and the rectum. The new bladder is directly connected to the abdominal wall to drain urine externally with a catheter -- a technique seldom accepted in Africa but she has adapted well to it.
The video's central song was composed and sung by Mozambican artist Chude Mondlane, daughter of liberation hero Eduardo Mondlane. Chude, who lives in New York, is passionate about helping women with fistula and wrote/performed the song for free.

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