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Christine. Click here to read my story.

Claudette. Click here to read my story.

Jeanette. Click here to read my story.

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Wet for 14 years, this patient is dry now...and a very happy woman! Click here for more.

Thanks to our pediatric surgeons, this beautiful little girl went home to live a perfectly normal life!

Another success! Click here for more.

This 21 year old patient, with her beautiful child, left the hospital, dry, and very happy.

IOWD in Rwanda

In this African country, where the 1994 Genocide killed more than 800,000 people, the faces of hatred and fear have vanished. A new vision has arisen in this land, and in the eyes of the people of Rwanda. There is hope and pride everywhere as the people have done extraordinary work to rebuild their nation.

With an invitation from the Rwandan Minister of Health, IOWD began a program for fistula repair in April 2010. It has been a remarkable experience working in Rwanda, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to bring our fistula program to Kibagabaga Hospital. The cooperation and dedication of the Kibagabaga staff to learn all about fistula surgery and post operative care has been extraordinary.

Fistula is a horrendous condition found in women who have experienced a prolonged and obstructed labor without medical assistance. Simplistically put, the wall between the bladder and vagina is damaged by the prolonged pressure of the baby's head, and a fistula, or hole, develops. Fistula can also occur as a result of injury to the bladder during difficult surgery. Consequently, the woman is constantly leaking urine. Sometimes, the rectal wall is also affected and there is no control of feces. The woman is often ostracized by her husband and her family; she becomes an outcast in society.

In Rwanda, a country of more than 10 million people, we do not have updated statistics as to how many fistula women exist, but we do know that all women who are suffering from this horrible condition are welcome to come to Kibagabaga Hospital for help. IOWD will travel to Rwanda three times a year to examine and perform surgeries on as many women as time allows. Radio announcements are aired throughout the entire country...and the women come.

IOWD is honored to stand with their Rwandan colleagues in strengthening their medical system through mentorship, exchange of knowledge and encouragement of self-directed learning. Together, we can make a difference...

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