Bwaila Fistula Center, Malawi

Direct Relief recently sent its first shipment of medical supplies to the Bwaila Fistula Center in Lilongwe, Malawi. Dr. Jeff Wilkinson is the lead surgeon at the Fistula Center, which is on target to provide life-restoring fistula repair surgery for 330 women this year. The unit is able to handle all types of cases, including the difficult procedures to assist women who have very complex injuries.  

Here is the note from Dr. Wilkinson:

“We are busy using all the great stuff you sent.  We just did a week of surgery with Dr. Raassen who was here teaching me how to perform a more complex surgery on our incurable patients (which represents about 3-5% of all fistula patients).  These are women who have undergone one or more surgeries and their injuries are so severe that the surgeries have failed and the only option is a larger surgery called a urinary diversion. We did six urinary diversions and 17 other surgeries last week.  Attached is a photo of Loida who is a young woman in her twenties, who had incurable fistula, and she is now dry. Loida works for the fistula unit as a cleaner and is a very bright and dynamic woman who only a week after surgery was ready to go back to work (of course we did not let her).  

We used many of the sutures you sent for the surgeries, the catheter, urine bags, the syringes, spinal needles, etc. We are thrilled to receive our first shipment of supplies from Direct Relief.

Thanks a million,

Jeff”

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