Brave women provoking change

When we think of a child being born we usually think of joy and celebration, but for many women in developing nations it is the beginning of terrible suffering. Pain, loss of a child, rejection, and homelessness are just some of the ways women suffer with obstetric fistulas suffer.
International Women's dayA simple surgery can change all that! Last year, in addition to the 339 fistula surgeries performed, Mercy Ships established the second of only two obstetric fistula clinics in Madagascar. Before the ship departed, the clinic was fully staffed with medical personal, predominantly trained on the hospital ship Africa Mercy. The day-to-day running was also handed over to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation so that women can continue to receive much needed surgeries and follow-up care that continues today.
Fistula women after surgeryWomen’s healthcare in Madagascar has improved and now the same is happening in Benin. A simple surgery can restore a woman’s health, rebuild her self-esteem, and allow her to feel like a valuable person again. On international women’s day, we can think of nothing better than to celebrate the lives of those precious souls helped by the women’s health program. Our prayer is that in the future, not only will the work of women be appropriately recognized, but also that all women will have access to basic healthcare.