Plans are underway at Maternity Africa for this year’s second fistula camp. A camp is a period of intense activity, when up to 40 ladies come for treatment. Treatment includes preparation for surgery, including making sure that the lady is physically fit and properly nourished and ready for her operation. This is followed by the operation itself, which can last for up to two hours. Sometimes a lady has been treated before, maybe several times, and the wound is not healing properly. For others, it may be a first operation, perhaps after many years of suffering from a fistula. Following the operation, our patients rest and recuperate in the comfortable and peaceful surroundings of Kivulini Maternity Centre, carefully looked after by our staff.
One of the first preparations made is finding patients. Many of them live far away in rural Tanzania. Lucas Toroya is Maternity Africa’s fistula outreach coordinator. Usually, before each camp, Lucas and his team – a driver and sometimes a nurse – make up to three outreach trips, each of between one and two weeks. During the first trip, the team meets community leaders, sharing information with them and building confidence about Maternity Africa and the services it provides. A second visit allows Lucas and his team to share the information with the wider community. Potential patients are often reached thereafter through social networks. Maternity Africa’s outreach team then meets these ladies during a third outreach / screening trip. Once identified as potential fistula patients, the team provides them with financial assistance to travel to Kivulini Maternity Centre for further screening and treatment.
Lucas and his team are away just now on a third trip for the forthcoming camp. They traveled for two days into the bush, and will do all they can to find these precious ladies and bring them here for compassionate treatment and care.
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