'Government help needed' to tackle fistula

A Malawian former fistula sufferer has called on governments in Africa to help tackle the condition by seeking to reduce poverty levels.

Lausi Adamu, from Makanjira in Malawi's lake district of Mangochi, told Inter Press Service how she endured fistula for 25 years after spending three days in labour.

She claimed that her husband, family and friends all deserted her when she developed the condition, which leaves women unable to control the leakage of urine and faeces from their body.

Ms Adamu said that apart from the work of aid organisations, little is being done to help fistula patients.

She added: "I now understand that fistula happens mostly among poor people.

"Communities like where I come from do not have easy access to proper health care and good roads because they are mostly poor."

Most anal fistulas require surgery as they are unlikely to heal if left untreated.