Seventeen-year-old Tausi left her home to live with her boyfriend last year. A short while later, she became pregnant, but didn’t get the reaction she was hoping for from her boyfriend.
“When I knew I was pregnant, I told my boyfriend. I thought he would be happy, but instead he refused to acknowledge that the baby I was carrying was his. When I was a few months into the pregnancy, he abandoned me.”
Tausi had to manage her pregnancy alone. She said: “It was a very hard situation – I had depended on my boyfriend financially. I didn’t go to the clinic because I had no money, and I was ashamed.”
On the day she felt labor pains, she went to her grandmother’s home. Her family called her boyfriend, asking him to come as Tausi was in serious pain, but he continued to deny the pregnancy and refused to help. Her grandmother took her to a local doctor, who tried to pull the baby out, but it was stuck and nothing could be done, so they had to return home.
“I felt so much pain, I cried a lot – even my legs hurt. I was so sad the doctor couldn’t help”, recalled Tausi. Another night of labor pains went by, the baby did not come. The following day, Tausi’s grandmother took her to a health center in another village. They told her that Tausi was weak and in a critical condition, beyond their capacity to help.
“By then I was so weak and tired that my grandmother had to take me to a hospital in another village. The doctors made a surgical cut to help me deliver, and pulled the baby out.” Tausi’s baby was stillborn.
After the surgery, Tausi realized she could not control her urine and feces. Fortunately, the doctors at the hospital recognized the condition and told her it was fistula. “I didn’t know what fistula was, and neither did my grandmother. I was so worried. I stayed at the hospital for more than a week, and was discharged”, Tausi remembered.
Soon after, a former fistula patient living near Tausi’s village heard about her and connected her to CCBRT. “I was full of joy to hear that this condition was treatable for free at CCBRT!” said the 17 year-old. CCBRT sent money via M-PESA to the former fistula patient ambassador who had connected Tausi to CCBRT to cover her transport to Dar es Salaam.
Upon arrival, Tausi was diagnosed with both vaginal and rectal fistula and has since undergone surgery to repair the tears. She is recovering, and her hope and happiness is growing every day for life post-fistula: “in the future I want to become a businesswoman and sell clothes”. she said proudly.