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20 September, 2018 DHARAN, Nepal – At the age of 17, Palesh Devi Rajdhobi was married off to a man she had never met. One year later, she gave birth to her first child. Then another, and another. When she was pregnant with her sixth, she knew something was wrong. “By the time I was taken to the hospital, it was...
Najat suffered a traumatic birth injury, and nearly died, after her in-laws refused to take her to a hospital during labour. © National Midwives Association/UNFPA
25 June, 2018 SANA’A, Yemen – Najat, a trained midwife, was well aware of the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth. But when her own health needs and professional judgment clashed with her husband’s traditional ideas, she suffered in ways she could not have imagined. Najat was a midwife in the Wesab area of...
Women and girls celebrating after their successful fistula repair surgeries at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre in Freetown © UNFPA Sierra Leone 2018/Angelique Reid
12 June, 2018 FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – “When I became pregnant in December 2016, I never attended a health clinic,” said 19-year-old Katimu Kanneh. “I drank traditional medicines supplied to me by traditional birth attendants in the community.”  Ms. Kanneh’s labour was difficult, and without adequate care, her...

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Suffering in silence: Obstetric fistula in Asia
Suffering in silence: Obstetric fistula in Asia