Voices of women: the experiences of women survivors with obstetric fistula in Ethiopia

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Obstructed fistula is the result of complications experienced during childbirth that "'creates a continuous and uncontrollable stream of urine and/or feces coming from the birth canal and a strong and socially embarrassing smell"(Osika, Walker & Sagna, 2004, p. 1 ). Due to the nature of the problem, the medical profession has conducted most of the research in this area. However a significant limitation of their approach has been their inability to provide insight into the experiences and perceptions of the women who are directly impacted by this condition. This is important because medical interventions alone does not 'cure' fistula, for the non-medical determinants of health (e.g., poverty, education, socioeconomic status) need to be examined in order to change policy and advocate holistically for the human rights of these women. As such, the purpose of this phenomenological case study was to understand the non-medical determinants of obstructed fistula, from the perspective of the women survivors in Ethiopia. Additionally, this study also examined the role that indigenous social work practitioners can play in addressing this condition. The sample for this study was drawn from the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia using criterion sampling and maximum variation. Through the use of semi-structured individual interviews using both open-ended and close-ended questions, eight women were interviewed. Data collection, analysis, and coding were conducted simultaneously in order to capture emerging themes accurately. Complex analysis of the participants narratives indicated that participants are aware of the social determinants that leads to obstructed fistula. Other findings included how chronic conditions can erode existing community coping mechanisms leading to women's experiences of social ostracism.
Bibliography: p. 115-119
Goitom, M. (2008). Voices of women: the experiences of women survivors with obstetric fistula in Ethiopia (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/2003