In a very calm and relax manner Zainab Sowe, who has received a free medical treatment for fistula at the Aberdeen West Africa Fistula Centre of Mercy Ships, told Awoko how it all went…
“I was at the age of 12 when my family handed me to an old man in Guinea to marry. Few months after my marriage, I became pregnant and in my fourth months I started experiencing some difficulties. I was forced to deliver through a traditional birth attendant since then I started to experience bleeding and urinating on myself. I was rushed to a hospital in Guinea, and later to four other hospitals but the situation remained the same.”
Zainab added, “I was in that state for three years. My husband abandoned me because of my awful smell and the situation at the house became worsened when he got another wife so I was forced to return to my parents. I was with my mother who showed some understanding by taking great care of me. I went without medication or going to any hospital or seeing a doctor to know the cause of my ailment for a very long time. So I was always crying and asking God for someone who can rescue me from that status. During my fourth year in that condition one of my aunts who was in Freetown went to the village where I was staying with my mother and informed us that there was a hospital in Freetown which could treat such ailment. At that time my mother had no money so she had to sell some of her clothing, while I was engaged in laundering people’s clothes so that we could raise funds for my coming to Freetown.”
Zainab, who is now well and healthy, said, “I was able to come to Freetown with my aunty, and was taken to the Mercy Ships fistula centre at Aberdeen. At the hospital, the doctor told me that my condition was so serious and they would not be able to treat me. But I told the doctors that if some other girls had gone through it successfully, I believe I would go through it without any problem. I pleaded with them to treat me so they allowed me in.”
“During the first operations I did not completely dry up but with the instructions and medications given to me by Mercy Ships personnel, I was able to get my healing. After the operations I was given some money to do business. Now I can proudly say that I am fine and I am doing my business. I am happy that Mercy Ships has brought back hope and healing in my life. Although my mother died few days ago, before her death, she had welcomed me again into the household with love and concern and my former husband whom I had some domestic problems with proposed to remarry me but I turned down the offer.” “There are more women and girls in the same condition like Zainab Sowe who are ashamed to come out. Some don’t know that sickness of this type can be cured, and that Mercy Ships personnel have come to alleviate the medical plight of the people of this country as we are here to bring hope and healing to them”, intoned Mercy Ships country director Rene Lako.