WHH is traveling this year to Sierra Leone, partnering with Dr. Darius Maggi – founder of the West Africa Fistula Foundation. Sierra Leone is one of the most dangerous places on earth to give birth, infant mortality and maternal deaths among the highest in the world. Sierra Leone, a country of about 6 million has only 1 OB/GYN. Women spend from 2 -15 days in labor – no midwife – no Cesarean childbirth; causing obstetric fistula to become inevitable. You can find out more about our mission here.
Here’s a little more information about Dr. Darius Maggi and the West Africa Fistula Foundation.
Works in Bo, Sierra Leone (see map)
Over 15,000 babies delivered.
In 2002, I traveled to Sierra Leone to treat women with obstetric fistula, a debilitating birth complication that is almost never seen in countries like the US. Upon meeting and treating patients in Bo, Sierra Leone, I decided to dedicate my retirement from a 22-year career to performing as many fistula repair surgeries as possible. Since my initial visit to Sierra Leone in 2002, I have made over 27 trips to perform over 2,000 fistula repair surgeries for women in rural areas. I can reach 100 more patients with your support.
Dr. Darius Maggi is a member of West Africa Fistula Foundation.
Obstetric Fistula Repair Focus
Obstetric fistula is a medical condition in which a hole develops in the bladder after severe or failed childbirth. It occurs more frequently in parts of the world without access to adequate healthcare resources.
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Some lives changed by Dr. Darius Maggi
Please note: some stories are graphic and could be upsetting.
At 12 years old, Tiangay developed a rectovaginal fistula after she was raped by her secondary school teacher. Tiangay initially sought help from a traditional healer who gave her herbs to drink and made her sit in boiling water. When she arrived at the West Africa Fistula Foundation (WAFF) ward in Bo, Tiangay was 16 and her condition was worsening. She was dehydrated, and she had lost a lot of blood. Tiangay received her fistula repair surgery and has returned home. She’s back in school, and hopes to one day study nursing. Tiangay says, “Thank you Dr. Maggi for everything you have done, you saved my life.”
Fatmata, a 19 year-old woman, suffered from a fistula after a four-day labor. After the prolonged delivery, she began to bleed and became incontinent. A midwife told Fatmata about WAFF, and she found comfort in meeting other women at the ward with her same condition. Fatmata’s surgery went smoothly, and since her return home she has been spreading awareness about fistula. She says, “I tell every girl and woman to spread the message that girls in Sierra Leone should not be shy. This condition is not their fault and they should come to the hospital so that they may be cured!”
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