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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2018, Article ID 5250843, 10 pages
Research Article

The Experience of Women with Obstetric Fistula following Corrective Surgery: A Qualitative Study in Benadir and Mudug Regions, Somalia

1Pan African University Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Global Science University, Galkayo, Somalia
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
4Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence should be addressed to Adam A. Mohamed; moc.liamg@nacirfamada and M. David Dairo; moc.oohay@oriadrd

Received 14 March 2018; Accepted 9 July 2018; Published 27 September 2018

Academic Editor: Peter E. Schwartz

Copyright © 2018 Adam A. Mohamed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obstetric fistula is a severe maternal morbidity which can have devastating consequences for a woman’s life and is generally associated with poor obstetric services leading to prolonged obstructed labour. The predisposing factors and consequences of obstetric fistula differ from country to country and from community to community. The World Health Organization estimated that more than 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, Latin America, and the Caribbean are living with the fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually with 30,000–90,000 new cases developing each year in Africa alone. This study aimed at describing and exploring the experiences of women living with obstetric fistulas following corrective surgery in Benadir and Mudug regions, Somalia. Women living with obstetric fistula who had surgical repairs at Daynile and GMC fistula centers and key informants were identified purposively. Twenty-one individual in-depth interviews among women with obstetric fistula and eight key informant interviews were conducted. Thematic analyses were used. Codes were identified, and those codes with similar connections were organized together as to form themes. Detailed reading and rereading of the transcribed interviews were employed in order to achieve and identify themes and categories. Themes, categories, and subcategories illustrating the experiences of women living with obstetric fistula emerged from the thematic analysis of individual in-depth and key informant interviews. These were challenges of living with OBF which include “wounds around genitalia, bad odour, incontinences of urine and feces, stigma, isolation, divorce, powerlessness, dependency, financial constraints, and loss of healthy years” and coping mechanisms which include “withdrawal from the community and improved personal hygiene.” Women with obstetric fistula experience serious health and social consequences which prevents them fulfill social, family, and personal responsibilities. We recommend expansion of BEmONC services to underserved areas, capacity building for local OBF surgeons, and improved media campaign and birth preparedness at community levels.