This story of hope and survival in Ethiopia follows five women devastated by obstetric fistula.
This program, a story of hope and survival in contemporary Ethiopia, presents the stories of five Ethiopian women who have been devastated by obstetric fistula, a common aftermath of neglected childbirth. An obstetric fistula is a hole that forms between the vagina and the bladder (and in some cases the rectum) during prolonged, obstructed labor. Affecting over two million women worldwide, this horrific injury leaves victims incontinent, often suffering nerve damage and in some cases unable to bear children again. Rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, these women are often left to spend the rest of their lives alone, isolated and ashamed -- unless they can get help. NOVA follows these women on their journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, where they find health and solace for the first time in years. The dignity of their struggle connects viewers to the plight of countless women in the developing world who face daily challenges from malnutrition, child marriage and lack of obstetric care.