Bruno Feder

Photographer
   
Fighting fistula
Location: Juba - South Sudan
Nationality: brazil / italy
Biography: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder was born in 1983 in São Paulo, Brazil. He lived in New Zealand and the United Kingdom before returning to Brazil to study International Relations. Upon graduation he worked at the International Affairs Office in the... MORE
Public Story
Fighting fistula
Copyright Bruno Feder 2022
Date of Work May 2017 - May 2017
Updated Jun 2019
Topics fistula, south sudan
Decades of conflict have torn South Sudan apart and women and children have paid a particularly heavy price. Rape has been used as a weapon of war and while men fight many women carry the day-by-day burden of taking care of their families. With one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world becoming pregnant can also mean a death sentence to women especially in the most remotes areas of the countries. For each woman that dies in childbirth, an estimated 20 additional women suffer from devastating childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula (WHO 2014). Political instability, internal displacement, economic crisis combine with lack of access to health facilities, early marriage, and teenage pregnancy have left thousands of women with obstetric fistula condition health groups estimates, officially there is no reliable statist on fistula rates in South Sudan. Unicef had reported that 52% of girls in the country have been married before 18 years old.


At Aweil State Hospital Ajok Athian, 18 years old cries on a bed while talking to a nurse. She has gone to a full fistula recovery surgery after complications during birth. Ajok had complications on delivery when she was in her village, her baby died during birth and the only help she got was from a TBA (traditional birth attendant) who didn’t had the knowledge required causing her the fistula. In a collaboration between the State Government, UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund), and MSF a fistula campaign offered free corrective surgeries to 40 fistula survivors.  Many women suffer from the condition but most of them do not seek treatment because they being mocked by people in the area. Fistula survivors endure psychological trauma, depression, deteriorating health, increased vulnerability to poverty, and social stigma from family and friends. Due to lack of access to treatment and associated isolation, many survivors tend to live with the condition for years or even decades.
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