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I spent last Saturday afternoon at the Serena Hotel where I attended a high tea fundraising event for fistula. The event was organized by the Flying Doctors Society of Africa (FDSA), and was aimed at raising funds that will enable women who suffer from fistula undergo repair surgery.

An obstetric fistula develops because of prolonged and neglected labour which becomes obstructed. Obstructed labor is when the baby’s head constantly pushes against the woman’s pelvic bone during contractions. This action prevents blood flow to vital tissues and if a ceaserean section is not available, the vaginal tissues become destroyed, leading to the formation of a hole (fistula) between the bladder and birth canal. Urine then leaks continuously through this hole.

When the same damage occurs between the rectum and the birth canal during childbirth, feaces leak continuously from the rectum to the birth canal. Majority of women with fistula often report to have labored for three to five days. In 95 per cent of the cases, the babies are born dead.

Here are some pictures from the event. The pictures had such beautiful women dressed in such beautiful clothes! At the end of this article, I have commented on the two ladies who I found to be the most well-dressed, so make sure you catch that.

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Tanya Nduati (right) of FDSA with a guest.
Tanya Nduati (right) of FDSA with a guest.
The fashion house Njema Helena had a fashion show during the event. Totally loved their clothes.
The fashion house Njema Helena had a fashion show during the event. Totally loved their outfits.

Bali ICFP 1512

Bali ICFP 1500

There was lots of jewelry on sale.
There was lots of jewelry on sale.

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And some clothes and bags on sale too.
And some clothes and bags on sale too.

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I met Peninah Njambi of Kahesa papers -she's such a sweet girl.
I met Peninah Njambi of Kahesa papers -she’s such a sweet girl.
Dr. Eunice Kiereini, Chairman of FDSA gives her speech. Dr. Kiereini has championed many medical outreach programs in remote areas of East Africa. She is one of Kenya's most celebrated women.
Dr. Eunice Kiereini, Chairman of FDSA gives her speech. Dr. Kiereini has championed many medical outreach programs in remote areas of East Africa. She is one of Kenya’s most celebrated women.

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Most women who suffer fistula are in rural areas, or in urban slum areas and who cannot afford quality maternal healthcare before, during and after childbirth. It costs about Sh30,000 to have a woman undergo a fistula repair surgery in a public hospital. It costs about five to 10 times more than that in a private hospital. Most of these women cannot afford even an eighth of this amount, and that is where the Flying Doctors Society of East Africa (FDSA) comes in.

Related: Melvin Barongo’s story: “I used diapers for 10 years because of a fistula”

On a regular basis, FDSA holds free fistula medical camps in different parts of the country where women who have suffered years of leaking, smell, shame and stigma get to have the relief they have yearned for for years. These women do not pay a single cent for the repair surgeries, because of the kindness of well-wishers who contribute money, time, equipment and supplies to ensure that they have their dignity restored. The high tea fundraising event I attended last Saturday will see to it that tens of women will have their prayers answered this year, through free fistula repair surgery. I was glad to be a part of these efforts.

Also read: The 4 year-old girl with a traumatic gynaecological fistula

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There I goes :)
There I goes 🙂

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Anne Waithera of FDSA in her little white dress.
Anne Waithera of FDSA in her little white dress.

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Ms. Charity Muthoni.
Ms. Charity Muthoni.

Like I said, there were many beautiful ladies dressed beautifully, but the ones that stood out most for me was this duo of Wangui Kariuki and Christine Kagwiria. Those people of Citizen TV’s Fashion Watch should comment on these outfits, don’t you think? Are they appropriate for a high tea event, madam Carol Odero and Annabel Onyango?

Wangui Kariuki (left) and Christine Kagwiria (right). Stunning.
Wangui Kariuki (left) and Christine Kagwiria (right). Stunning.

So there you go. It was indeed a great and fun event, all for a good cause. If you’d like to help a fellow mum with fistula access free surgery, you can get in touch with the Flying Doctors Society of Africa on tel: +254 722 205 084 or +254 733 333 004 or email: flying.doctors@flyingdoctorsafrica.org

Also read: Yvonne Njoki: After 2 years of shame, I finally got healed of fistula

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