Dignity Kits Comfort Kenyan Women Awaiting Fistula Repair


A fistula patient in Kenya smiles with a Dignity Kit. Courtesy photo.
A fistula patient in Kenya smiles with a Dignity Kit. Courtesy photo.

Noreen (pictured center), a 27-year-old woman from western Kenya, developed obstetric fistula after giving birth to her second child two years ago.

Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged and obstructed labor that, if untreated, leaves women with constant and uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or feces. The condition can often be repaired with surgery.

Noreen is now on the waiting list for fistula repair after finding out about Gynocare Fistula Center in Eldoret, Kenya with help from Pauline (pictured right), a One By One Regional Representative for Mumias District in Kenya.

Though she feels lucky to be able to receive the services,  in the meantime she still suffers from the symptoms. Sometimes it can take weeks and possibly even months for the women who have been identified as candidates to receive the repair surgery.

That’s why Direct Relief developed Dignity Kits – a type of care pack for women, like Noreen, who are awaiting obstetric fistula surgery. The kits contain sanitary pads; baby powder; soap; washcloths; a toothbrush; toothpaste; hair comb; and calmoseptine (to reduce inflammation from incontinence).

Noreen was one of 50 women in western Kenya who recently received a Dignity Kit to help her feel a bit more comfortable while she waits.

“She was all smiles…and was very grateful for the support and the care and concern that people all the way from California had shown to her,” reports Lindsey Pollaczek, Direct Relief’s staffer who was able to meet Noreen.

Direct Relief thanks the volunteers with Direct Relief Women who helped pack 1,000 of these kits in order to help fellow women around the world feel cared for and comforted.

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