400,000 years collectively of better life for women. Is that possible? Read on to the end to find out how.
Follow two doctors on a medical outreach to women in rural West Africa whose bodies have been injured during labor and child birth. These images were shot on location in Sierra Leone in the town of Bo at the government run hospital where there is no running water, intermittent electricity and where surgeries are sometimes performed without the aid of suction with a single flashlight as the only source of illumination.
The West Africa Fistula Foundation runs a women's ward in the local hospital where they provide basic medical care and fistula repair surgery to mothers who have developed obstetric fistulas. Fistulas are holes in the bladder and rectum that leak urine and bowel content constantly that are created when tissue is damaged due to pressure from the baby in the birth canal during labor that sometimes lasts for many days. This prolonged obstructed labor along with the lack of availability of surgical c-section procedures in the country creates terrible suffering for women who are usually shunned by their communities which creates loss and ultimately poverty for their children. Women suffer from infection and depression and don't know where to turn as they become more and more isolated. It is estimated that some women suffer upward of 25 years or more from this condition and on one recent trip in-country, one particular woman was located who has suffered with this injury for 50 years.
This video is part of a wider effort to raise awareness and funding for a much needed new hospital dedicated to educating and mentoring professional aid for this problem that would expand to help other needs as well.
Due to budget constraints, I photographed, wrote, edited, voiced and produced this piece in a news style hoping that it would inspire others to help with this cause. It was recorded on a Canon 5D Mark III and edited with AVID Media Composer installed on a MacBook Pro at my kitchen table.
As a result, approximately 50 women will have much needed surgeries for dollars that would otherwise have been needed to produce a professional video. This pro bono video has the potential to conservatively offer 1250 collective years of a better life for 50 women who many have suffered for 25 years (or more) had they not been given assistance. Going one step further still, there are roughly a million women in 2014 who need fistula repair surgeries with only 16,000 a year capacity. The women who have been helped in one year alone provide 400,000 years of improved life just for the women alone. And eradication would provide 25 million years of improved life for them if all one million could be helped.
Imagine what could happen when most of not all could be helped. It is exponential in power.
This version will be shown at live presentations for fundraising. A standalone version is also planned that will have more information about fistulas and how they occur.
Please navigate to westafricafistulafoundation.org to click a donation to paypal !!
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