Mirembe was only a teenager when she found herself pregnant with her first child in rural Uganda. Virtually a newlywed and with little in common with her husband’s family, Mirembe kept to herself and spent a lonely nine months looking forward to the birth of her baby.
Eventually Mirembe went into labour. After an agonising four days with no sign of the baby, she was taken to the nearest hospital and endured an emergency caesarean.
Sadly, it was too late – her baby was stillborn and she was left with a fistula, leaving her incontinent. Urine streamed down her legs uncontrollably.
With no baby, and stigmatised for her condition, Mirembe’s husband and family wanted nothing to do with her and she was soon sent back to her parents. Sadly, things didn’t get any better there – her parents and siblings were unable to deal with Mirembe’s condition and she found herself ostracised by the family and their whole village.
Mirembe lived in isolation, trying to cope with her fistula injury. She received meagre meals from her family but no money, clothing or emotional support.
Finally, after two years of enduring this hardship, Terrewode’s community volunteers arrived in Mirembe’s village looking for fistula sufferers. They immediately identified Mirembe as a candidate for treatment.
When Terrewode staff found Mirembe, she was severely malnourished. They took her to a government hospital for treatment. Afterwards, she was cared for by Terrewode staff. During her recovery, Mirembe started at Terrewode’s Women’s Economic Empowerment and Self-Reliance Centre where she discovered her love for fashion design.
Terrewode helped her with the purchase of a sewing machine to start her own tailoring business. Mirembe is now earning an income and living an independent life after years of isolation and neglect.
Our Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital – replicating the Hamlin Model of Care, will have the capacity to provide surgery and rehabilitation for 600 fistula patients a year.
Please help more women like Mirembe by donating today.